The American Food Project Rings in For a Commenter and Not Good (Why Resistant Starch Doesn’t Work for Some)

Tatertot Tim put this together for us, in collaboration with Dr. BG (Grace) (link removed)

What’s Lurking in your Guts? Potato Starch as Litmus Test for Gut Health

Earlier this week I was copied on an email from frequent FTA commenter Nancy, who had some important news. Her American Food Project results were in and she was a bit concerned:

Subj: Results from American Gut: my innards are quite f*cked up

Results attached with crude photography below.

For context, I was the one who responded the worst to the PS. Started it twice, about six months apart, and it led to nighttime and morning loose and urgent stools. It just wasn’t working. Now we know why.

My population was/is PRET-Ty sucky. And Googling some of these geni and families is freaking me right out. The same family as the bacteria causing the plague? A bacteria extremely populous in me that is only supposed to be in whiteflies?? I’m a bit nauseous! This is like the opposite of Tatertot Tim’s profile!

I took one glance at her AmGut report and could tell she was right, her innards were quite f*cked up.

photo 1
photo 2

Apparently when Nancy got these results, she started looking up names and discovered that some of these microbes were disease-causing and belonged in a whitefly. I did the same thing when I got my results, if you’ll remember: Resistant Starch: American Gut Project Real Results And Comparison (Very Big News).

The report also noted I had some rare types of microbes…

  • Victivallaceae – A producer of acetate
  • Limnobacter – A bacteria normally only found in high mountain glaciers, a tribute to my Arctic life, I suppose.
  • And my favorite—because I am often thought to be a slacker—Slackia—a producer of a substance known as Equol.

[Editor’s note: If Tim is a slacker, then I’m a reprobate derelict!]

With all these names readily searchable by anyone with one finger and an internet connection, it’s easy to get lost. Dave Asprey loved to tease that all my RS ingestion seemed to do for me was to insert rare gut bugs in my gut, completely ignoring the fact that I had virtually NO detectable pathogens: Is there such a thing as Bulletproof Resistant Starch?

In fact, “tatertot” who worked with Richard on this research, got his American Gut results back after lots of resistant starch. His biome was stellar, but it contained a lot of Limnobacter, a rare microbe normally found in glaciers. Who knows what’s going to eat the resistant starch you put in your mouth?

When I looked at Nancy’s report, a quick glance at the bar chart—with the massive area in keto-pee yellow—screamed at me. This is the bar we really don’t care to see. It’s the bar that represents the Proteobacteria…the home of E. coli, salmonella, H. pylori, and cholera. Most people have a small band of these. But as you can see from the bars to the right of Nancy’s, most people have 5-10% of their sample represented by Proteobacteria. My sample showed I had about 2%.

So what’s in this massive Proteobacteria band of Nancy’s? The charts show that one of her most abundant microbes is of the genus Morganella, at 25% of her total microbiome. But we’re still missing a few specific microbes that comprise nearly 40% of her gut. …So, I asked her to send me her full taxa report. From the full report, we can see that not only does Nancy have 25% Morganella, but also nearly 10% of an unnamed member of the Gammaproteobacteria Class, Enterobacteriaceae Family—which is precisely where E. coli lives. We don’t know for sure it’s The E coli; but at a minimum, we’re talking relatives. Elsewhere on the report—in ranges of .02 – 2%—were no less than 24 other genera of Proteobacteria. For comparison, I had 12 genera. These are not all pathogens, and most are considered normal parts of the human gut. And, some Proteobacteria are actually good.

So, what’s the big deal? At tiny fractions, these bacteria are fine—everybody has them. A gut that has “broken bad,” however, favors the pathogens and allows them unimpeded growth and they then control the real estate. This is exactly what has happened in Nancy’s gut.

The genus Morganella has exactly one species—Morganella Morganii. M. Morganii, as it is more commonly called—that’s en effing bastard of a microbe. But, it’s not that uncommon either—my report shows that I have approximately .01% of it. But it doesn’t take much Googling to find out that this is not who might want dominating your gut.

Morganella morganii is a facultative, gram-negative and anaerobic rod found in the feces and intestines of humans, dogs, and other mammals. It’s known to be a causative organism of opportunistic infections in the respiratory tract, the urinary tract, and in wound infections. It can cause devastating infections in neonatal and postoperative stages—particularly in diabetic patients. The risk of infection is especially high when a patient becomes neutropenic as a result of myelosuppressive chemotherapy. Massive hemolysis can be associated with bacterial infection and has been reported mainly in cases of Clostridial or Vibrio sepsis.

But, it’s not all bad:

Morganella morganii is a species of gram-negative bacteria that has a commensal relationship within the intestinal tracts of mammals and reptiles, as normal flora. Although M. morganii has a wide distribution, it’s considered an uncommon cause of community-acquired infection and it is most often encountered in postoperative and other nosocomial infections such as urinary tract infections.

Or is it?

M. morganii is motile via the use of a flagella. In some cases, it reacts to changes in the pH of the gut, as well as to changes in the state of the immune system. Since it’s an opportunistic pathogen, it takes advantage of any compromise of the immune system—why it’s most often detected  in hospitals after a serious injury or surgery, perhaps from its ability to hydrolyze and modify antibiotics through the presence of adhesins, and other enzymes.

When the host’s immune system is suppressed, M. morganii will rapidly invade the host and also cause specific IgA responses and as well as cause an increase in the volume of Peyer’s patches. It’s also able to ferment sugar and is glucose positive.

So, it seems that in my haste to pimp prebiotics on an unsuspecting public, I told Nancy to go ahead and eat potato starch, one of M. morganii’s favorite foods.

When I’d realized what I’d done, I wanted to see what lame advice I gave this poor lady who, as I write this, is trembling and curled the fetal position as she awaits a call from the doctor to schedule an appointment—just kidding.

Our conversation on the blog went something like this, beginning early November, 2013: 

Maybe someone can help me. I think I have a bad biome. I have been gluten free and focused on healthy animal proteins and fats including coco oil for three years. I am quite overweight because I am a chocolate junkie. I tried the RS about 4 months ago, starting with 1 tbsp in the AM and one at night, going up to 2 and 2. After a few weeks, my TMI became late at night, first thing in the morning diarrhea. So I attributed it to the RS and stopped. The D lasted for about 3 more weeks, then finally became more normal. Because it still lasted, I ended up concluding that the D was from some other reason.

This week, I decided to really clean up my diet, and get off the sugar, mostly quality milk chocolate but also sometimes too much fruit, or crème brûlée. I was urged to try the RS again because of it help keeping cravings down. For three days I did 1 tbsp morning and 1 before dinner. After day 2 the TMI was changing. And after day 3, the looseness was back, and the urgency. I stopped RS today because I just don’t have the time to sit home in the morning.

Does anyone know what is wrong with my biome? Obviously something is amiss. I haven’t had any antibiotics for maybe 5 years except what they give you during a c-section birth two years ago. I also get migraines from any probiotic pills, liquids, or vegetables (I love kimchi but it doesn’t love me). I drink 1 cup of commercial full fat plain kefir a day, and 1 bottle of commercial kombucha a night in hopes of fermentation.
I suffer about 8 migraines a month. Maybe there is a connection.

Here was her plea for help…would the FTA community come through? You decide:

Richard Nikoley says:

Nancy, darling. Your comment is palpable to me.

You are suffering, girl. And it’s far beyond any advice I can offer. My only suggestion would be to fix your diet first, by which I mean no sugar that’s not in real food, no grains. Real food only you go out and get yourself, prepare yourself with whatever natural fats are your preference. Maybe feel free to include some of the foods touted for RS, but you probably ought stop supplementing it until you’re healthy.

You might consider seeking out pro help in the Real Food realm.

Then a nice number of helpful folks showed up, as is pretty common, here:

  • Nancy, based on what I know (but I could be wrong), RS works really well for gut dysbiosis, i.e., dysbiosis in the large intestine. It may not be that effective for SIBO or IBS.
  • I always crave chocolate. I find if I eat liver the cravings go away!
  • …for what it is worth, what I found what worked for me a while back was raw, natural, unprocessed honey

Then, thank doG, Ellen came along:

Ellen says:


WARNING serious tmi ahead.

When you say that the PS makes you go more often, is it actual watery D or a well formed stool that is just frequent with cramping?

I was having the latter (plus headache) from more than a tiny bit of either PS or foods high on RS and have been taking Prescript-Assist for several days and it seems to be changing things for the better.

But, either way, I don’t think it can do you any harm to try a top quality probiotic.
The bottom line however is that nothing is going to change if you don’t get off the sugar. I would suggest that the higher carb end of PHD style eating might help you avoid the sugar cravings.

I had to have a say, too:

Tatertot says:

Nancy – I concur with everybody else! You would probably be wise to look for a naturopathic doctor and get this all straightened out. Right now you are shooting in the dark, something is going on, you owe it to yourself to get it fixed.

Don’t bother with the American Gut Project unless you just want to give them money. They take 6+months to get back with you and only identify gut microbes to the family level–not species level. Here is a better place.

This is a full report and quicker for not much more money. I have a buddy who can help you interpret the results if you need explaining, just post back here and we’ll get it figured out.

In the mean-time, green bananas have been used forever as a treatment for diarrhea in 3rd World Countries. I’d highly recommend buying a bunch of the greenest bananas you can find and eating 1-3 daily. If they are too hard to peel, slice them in half lengthwise and peel sideways. They taste like crap when that green, but eat while drinking hot tea or coffee to wash them down.

Oh, and quit eating milk chocolate! Learn to eat 100% Baking Chocolate, or buy the 90-100% candy chocolate. There is no high-quality milk chocolate!

Then Richard Nikoley says:


Please go also post your comment at my long time friend Dr. BG’s blog, Animal Pharm (link removed).

She can probably help.

So, you all decide: were we helpful or hurtful in this situation? I think we all handled it pretty well. It turns out that, back in November, Nancy had just sent off a sample of her poo to the American Food Project and decided she’d wait to see the results—returning to her diet that she knew would keep her in the most comfortable range of gastric disturbance, a low-carb paleo approach.

Also, in related emails, I dug a bit into Nancy’s background. She’s led quite a hectic life and her gut bugs have taken the brunt of the punishment. Many rounds of antibiotics, a benign brain tumor (prolactinoma on pituitary) removed—and grown back, and the usual array of health issues surrounding most everyone. She’s hypothyroid, and has frequent migraines. She’s Mom to 4 active children.

Would any of this info have swayed our musings? Probably not. So, what lessons can we learn from Nancy…amazing Mom who was overweight and had some TMI troubles, looking to resistant starch and a bunch of internet morons to help her out, i.e., just cut the carbs?

I think the big lesson we need to take from all this is that if potato starch f*cks you up, you need to go to a doctor ASAP. Get a full gut health report. Eating in a way that alleviates symptoms is not the same as eating in a way that is helping you out…it may just be doing the exact opposite! How many thousands of people get operated on every day in this same condition? Do doctors and surgeons routinely check for this kind of thing? Doubtful. It’s entirely possible that Nancy’s life will now improve, now that eating cheap Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch, 24-Ounce (Pack of 4) identified a clear gut problem. For many months, we have heard loud and clear from those who conclude it’s not about them that they can’t handle it, when the clear evidence is that better than 90% of people can.

Here’s someone who took the time and trouble to find out.

…Another lesson is that if you think you have gut troubles, don’t mess around with the American Gut Project. Get a real test, like the Metametrix GI Effects stool analysis and get a urine test while you’re at it. These will need a doctor’s help and prescription, involving insurance paperwork and all that, but it may end up really improving your life. The American Gut Project is wonderful, but only for basic amusement. It only shows the level of diversity you have in your guts—which is totally fascinating—but potentially misleading. It won’t show yeasts, or put up a red flag if something is seriously amiss. Had Nancy not thought to share her results, she might have just gone on her merry way thinking that 25% Morganella was perfectly acceptable. Nancy may also find she has even more sinister inhabitants when examined fully.

…The gut is an amazing piece of machinery. Your gut microbes can exert a form of mind-control and do it all the time. This M. morganii, for instance, that has taken over Nancy’s prime neighborhoods, loves to eat sugar. What was Nancy admittedly addicted to? Sugar. M. morganii should also be able to eat RS as it is a form of carbohydrate, but it’s almost as if Mr. Morganii didn’t want her to have it—because it would also feed his enemies…and…diarrhea for weeks!

Nancy suffers migraines, why do I have a strange feeling that these are related to her gut? Are these migraines the remaining few good gut bugs screaming for help? Or M. morganii hoping she’ll seek solace and comfort in a piece of apple pie?

What advice would Nancy have gotten from any of the other gastrointestinal ‘gurus’ out there? Hopefully, they would have first advised her to get a full report. We are beginning to see, now, that the information you can get from genetically sequencing your poop can add up to gold.

Nancy further relates, within the last few day, and a few months later:

I started taking Prescript-Assist Probiotic 6 weeks ago. With one a day, taken at night before bed. Within 48 hours my poop and my life changed for the better. Instead of quite urgent but controllable poop that was not on the Bristol scale (I liked to call it ‘sludge’), I went to shaped poop that kept the shape even in the bowl. On the Bristol scale and one of the good ones, I think. And if someone is in the bathroom, I can wait my turn. This was a change I welcomed.

As to Resistant Starch and her diet lately:

I only eat RS in the form of cooled rice really, right now. I was planning to start Potato Starch soon, now that my stools are changed and maybe my biome too? I have to go very easy with most fermented foods, like kimchi or real sauerkraut. Love them, but more than a tablespoon and I get a migraine. I drink a cup of commercial plain full fat kefir maybe 3-4x a week. I drink half to one bottle of chia kombucha a night. That is as much alcohol as I can handle without migraine. It’s the weak kind of kombucha that you can buy under 21.”

Hopefully, when Nancy gets her gut bugs re-checked very soon, she’ll find that the Prescript-Assist, fermented foods, and rice have turned the tide and her gut is well on the way to healthy.

Some advice from Dr. BG on what tests to ask for can be found on her blog.

Grace’s thoughts on RS failures are that there are four main reasons why people can have a hard time when they first start an RS rich diet:

  1. SIBO/SIFO—Small Intestine Bacterial or Fungal Overgrowths. RS utilizing bugs in the wrong place (right bugs, wrong place). The only way to tell is with testing.
  2. Antibiotics have removed the RS utilizing bugs—over 25% of individuals make zero butyrate with RS due to missing ‘core’ gut bugs.
  3. Parasites, yeasts and pathogenic strains in the small intestines and/or colon—either too much (or too little) butyrate, propionate, or acetate production depending on which strains, how much and where in the enormous ecosystem.
  4. VLC or ‘Atkins’ type diets—drops butyrate to 1/4 of control diet. Symbiont RS-utilizing strains are decimated analogously, particularly Roseburia which tracks with butyrate production.

So if you think you have a serious problem in your gut, please don’t mess around—get it checked out. Maybe it’s not the potato starch. Maybe it’s you. Spend some money and get a real test done. Waiting 6 months for an American Gut report is fine if you’re generally healthy; but if you cannot eat real food, like potato starch or cold potatoes—you just may be ill, from the perspective of a normal human. Resistant starch is an age-old food, one we evolved millions of years eating. If you can’t eat it, you probably need some modern medicine to find out why. Hopefully, Nancy will get her appointment and a new stool test very soon and she and her doctors will come up with a solution to restore balance and heal her gut fully. Last word is, she’s well underway with that.

What’s lurking in your guts?


Editor’s comments: Let me close with a little hubristic spice. It’s not a question, anymore, about all the millions of folks who’ve invested countless dollars and time in oder to fully understand every metabolic pathway, every axis, or every single genetic expression that they just love to go on and on about.

None of it—regardless of how detailed and precise—has even a sliver to do with a scintilla of all of the foregoing. What does that mean? Smart people, but smart people who are literally back at the drawing board. Every one of them. And I’m talking day one, and kindergarten—and I care not their names or credentials. Meaningless.

  1. When they are talking about metabolic function, hormonal signaling, et al, they are talking, at most, about 10% of you. Until they fully integrate the gut biome’s role in all of this and minimally, begin to start classifying different levels of healthy guts vs. bad guts, they ought be regarded as going bla bla bla.
  2. When they are talking about gene expression it’s even worse, and more embarrassing, since our own genome is less than 1% of the total genome including the up-to 1,000 lines of microbiota.

I’ll tell you what’s far more hubristic, though; and I’m just alerting you, because you’re going to see it a lot—from those who invested so much to be “experts” on 10% and 1%. It’s very simple and you watch. You are going to see tons of people who are behind, who thought they were the Bee’s Knee’s tell you it’s all a bunch of BS, don’t look. Watch for being told not to look.

That’s exactly how things shift from who knows nothing, to who knows everything—and vice versa—in every paradigm shift; and if the science of the gut microbiota doesn’t represent a back-to-the-drawing-board paradigm shift in health and medicine, then nothing does.

Stay tuned for the book. The foregoing represents a Tim drafted, but Richard and Grace collaboration—with me as your final say editor. Hope you liked it.


Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Resistant Starches - Page 147 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 147 on April 10, 2014 at 14:29

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  2. tatertot on April 10, 2014 at 15:08

    Thanks, Nancy for letting us use your story. Hopefully it will help many others!

  3. Lauren on April 10, 2014 at 15:38

    “Eating in a way that alleviates symptoms is not the same as eating in a way that is helping you out…it may just be doing the exact opposite!”
    Thank you Nancy, TT, RN and Grace for this. May we all heed the warnings about ‘not looking’ and, instead, look hard.

  4. Spencer on April 10, 2014 at 15:40

    I had a GI effects profile. While I do not have opportunistic bacteria or parasites, I did have a fungal infection. Some back story, I’ve been having odd symptoms on and off for the past 9 months. My doctor and I still have not been able to pinpoint it. There has been Orthostatic Intolerance issues along with tiredness, and many other things, essentially something similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The stool issues have been with me for longer than the full on symptoms, they definitely started after going VLC/LC. To pinpoint what I have is hard since, some things fit the symptoms but I haven’t measured the right things (igA, immunoglobulins, electrolytes, etc.) yet to pinpoint exactly what is going on.

    The results of the test are very interesting though. The reason being is that I have very low fecal sIgA, 20 mg/dl. This is in addition to very low acetate production, very high n-Butyrate production, and high Lactoferrin (which due to the fungal infection that would make sense). Interesting though too is the overall low production of SCFA, very low. I don’t have a scanner available to me at the moment to upload the results, but what my gut is being populated by is interesting. I have high amounts of Clostridia, mid amount of Bacteroides, and rest are on the low end.

    This was test was after avoiding potato starch for a few weeks, I’m not sure how that effected the results though, I still was keeping the carbs fairly high. But, I have noticed a decrease in the runny nose, clogged upper respiratory system, hot hands, achiness, that was happening but only after I went on an elimination diet, ha. My stools also went from being rock hard crappies to generally fairly consistent, floating stools. I’m still have a consistency issue, but I’m getting closer to pinpointing that to the foods I’m eating. The tiredness, heart rate problems, along with some other symptoms are still there, but I’m feeling better overall.

    • Ann on April 11, 2014 at 10:53

      Spencer – your stools shouldn’t float. That’s a sign of poor fat digestion, maybe an issue with liver or gallbladder function, which could definitely be caused from yeast or bacterial overgrowth. I had this as well, and mine were very light colored, almost yellow. After two weeks on Prescript Assist, Primal Defense Ultra, and AOR Probiotic 3, and taking plantain starch twice per day, they finally started sinking and became a really nice dark brown. They are still occasionally on the softer side, and sometimes aren’t tightly packed, but sink like they should, and I feel tons better. I am also taking different varieties of the colonizing probiotics, like Theralac, and eating my own raw sauerkraut and sauerruben, and drinking water kefir and kombucha.

      It’s not just about diarrhea, either, I had weird psychiatric things happening (OCD negative thoughts, bad dreams, depression, anxiety) and a lot of IBS and food intolerances. All have improved in about six weeks. I have a ways to go, but I’m getting there.

      I mention this because you didn’t mention any probiotics in your comment, and they are what really turned the corner for me. I truly doubt that simply consuming resistant starch on it’s own is going to fix any significant problems. It certainly didn’t for me.

      Good luck.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 11, 2014 at 15:49

      Kudos Dr Ann!

      Spencer, I second everything she said. Thank you for finding FTA and posting your thoughts

    • Kelly on April 13, 2014 at 09:37

      Ayurvedic medicine says exactly the opposite, that stools should float, and that ‘sinkers’ indicate poor colon health.

    • Ann on April 13, 2014 at 15:22

      Have you ever changed a babies diaper and flushed it down the toilet? Babies poop sinks. Every time. I’ve had two kids of my own, one formula-fed, and one breastfed for sixteen months. I’ve also been a babysitter to many, including my own siblings babies and kids. That’s what it’s supposed to do.

      Maybe Indians don’t eat much fat?

      All I know is that when mine was floating I was at my sickest, and had gallbladder pain after eating. As I started to get better and not feel sick after eating, my stools were also starting to sink.


  5. kate on April 10, 2014 at 15:46

    Good luck Nancy. I hope everything continues to improve for you.

    “Are these migraines the remaining few good gut bugs screaming for help? Or M. morganii hoping she’ll seek solace and comfort in a piece of apple pie?” Ha, love this. I have been searching for a solution for migraines and chronic headaches for years. Switching from a whole grain heavy diet to Paleo a number of years ago, then PHD, really tamed the migraines, but headaches are still a major concern. Ironically, though, certain foods in my new dietary regime proved problematic. Like Nancy, fermented foods are head trouble. Liver or kidney means a head buster at night or the next morning as well. (and I like liver, I’d happily eat it all the time). I hypothesized over a year ago that my headache/migraines originated in my gut, and I’ve been playing around with probiotics, RS, and soluble fibers ever since. (Probiotics don’t seem to bother my head like fermented food). I’m fortunate in that I never had any TMI issues, blood glucose regulation issues, or weight issues. RS makes my sleep better and I’m calmer. However, if the chronic headaches are related to my gut, it is not a quick fix.

    I sent my American gut sample in last September. I contacted them, and they had misfiled it. Supposedly running it in the next batch. I’ll be interested to compare my results with Nancy’s and Tim’s.

  6. Ellen Ussery on April 11, 2014 at 06:05

    Thanks for this, ALL of you. It will help many.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 11, 2014 at 14:45

      Thank U Ellen ~ I appreciate all of your insightful comments!

  7. Nick on April 10, 2014 at 16:55

    What’s the difference between a VLC diet (with ample prebiotics, including supplemental PS, and fermented foods) versus a PHD-style diet…? The only difference would be carb content…and either side can make a case as to what amount of carb is optimal.

    • Dan on April 10, 2014 at 17:03

      “The only difference would be carb content”
      No 1 side treats all carbs as being the same…..

    • kate on April 11, 2014 at 04:37

      Well, besides the “safe starches”, Paul is definitely is an advocate of specific supplementation. When I initially switched, I was hesitant to add the starches. But I started the supplements right away. Almost an immediate difference for me in terms of how my head felt. I had tried D and Mag supps before, but K2 and iodine, among others were new.

  8. Harriet on April 10, 2014 at 17:08

    It is easy to get fixated on just one or two of the consequences of taking RS/PS or of diet in general and I’ve read numerous comments from people who give up after a week or two because one symptom has got worse. What we are/ I am going for here is health. When I don’t have it I really want it. Along the way I really hope for weight loss, improved brain function and an improved physique and my weight is one of my key signals of whether my health is improving or getting worse. However my weight is just one indicator. Another is my auto-immune flares. Others have different indicators of importance to them.

    The key message here is that if RS/PS makes you feel worse then you have something else going on and do go and find out what it is. For some of us that is more difficult than others. Finances kick in for many of us. But if I was hit by a bus and needed remedial therapy we would find the several thousand to make sure I could at least get started on getting back to some semblance of health. I feel the same thing with my gut. I really, really want my brain back and to be able to keep up with the youngsters at karate (20-50 years younger than me). At the moment my brain is only functioning at 30-70% of what I know it can do. Its like I get 20-40 points knocked off my IQ on bad days.

    So keep on exploring is my adage. If something isn’t working is it because it doesn’t work (and the 90% of people it helps can’t be ignored) or is it because something else has to happen first? For me its probably a matter of weeding out some of the nasties plus seeding some of the good bacteria (Thanks Dr Grace for those ideas).

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 11, 2014 at 14:36

      Thank you Harriet~! I want your brain back too!! Let’s unplug the cyborg soon!

  9. Stuart on April 10, 2014 at 18:47

    Migraines is usually caused by a low rbcMg level which can be done with a blood test and is quite common.
    My stools are more moist now and seem to pass smoothly so I think the magnesium can become better absorbed. High hydration levels are also helpful.
    Most people have low Mg levels and these will quickly help solve the problem as I tried many supplements without much success.
    Jigsaw Health Magnesium w/SRT rather expensive but has co-factors.
    Add Natural Calm Ionic Magnesium Citrate Powder so one is getting from both close to 1000mg day magnesium.
    Now if migraines persist try LifeExtension foundation supplements Migra-Mag with Brain Shield or Brain Shield itself.
    I have found these helpful but there could be other similar sources. Migraine aurea can be disturbing and migraine disabling for days.

    • kate on April 11, 2014 at 04:33

      Mg is an effective prophylactic for some but not everyone. Personally, I have tried every mg chelate on the market, I have rubbed mgcl oil all over my body, I have soaked in epsom salt baths, and I have tried the expensive variety that crosses the blood brain barrier. The effect? nada

    • Nancy on April 17, 2014 at 00:29

      Me too, I take glycinate (?) or malate every night, and do bathe in mag flakes a couple times a week. Yet I still get 9 migraines a month on average. I do not want to skip the mag not even for one night for fear that in itself would cause one. But they don’t get rid of them entirely.

      Still, if you are pregnant and can’t take meds, rubbing mag oil right on your head can bring some relief.

  10. Gassman on April 10, 2014 at 19:17

    My first try with potato starch, the gas didn’t resolve after about 10 weeks, so I quit PS and started tapioca starch. I was using cheap probiotics with the PS. When I started the TS, I also started Primal Defense Ultra. Been on this for about 6 weeks. On TS and PD-U I have received favorable results. I have lost a few pounds, lost the brain fog, belly flattening, pants looser. I just got ordered Probiotic-3 and I’ll start that tomorrow (w/TS and PD-U). After a week of the new routine I intend to to introduce small amounts of PS with the TS. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis, but rarely have trouble with it, but given that RA is an autoimmune disease, I’m concerned that the PS may ultimately be a no-go because of the nightshade issue. Based on my favorable results with TS, I really don’t think I need PS, I just want to try it to see if the probiotics will prevent the gas. Bottom line, if PS doesn’t work for you, try BRM Tapioca starch. It’s actually slightly cheaper than PS.

    • Christoph Dollis on April 10, 2014 at 21:22

      I have Primal Defense Ultra on order, so it’s good to know it actually does something.

      As for tapioca starch, I thought Tim Steele was saying it isn’t really resistant starch. They have Bob’s Red Mill in my local stores, but claim not to be able to order in the potato starch. I was thinking about tapioca starch today, but decided to order more of the potato starch online.

    • Gassman on April 11, 2014 at 06:17

      I don’t recall negative comments on TS. Maybe Tatertot Tim will comment again. It works for me…so far..

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 08:27

      Tapioca starch is in a blind spot, until someone gets several samples tested and we can show it is consistently high in RS across the board, I have to remain skeptical. In theory, it should be very high in RS, but in practice it seems to give blood sugar spikes to some, but that could be batch or processing plant specific.

      I’d say, ‘try it’. Hopefully somebody will come up with a good RS supplement that is as cheap as Bob’s Potato Starch with a known RS content and several types of starch to choose from labeled by RS content.

      The second best ‘guaranteed’ RS supplement is dried, green plantains. They will be about 50% RS by weight and also contain inulin and other prebiotics fibers and good digestive ‘stuff’. Dry them, turn them into powder or eat like crackers.

      The third best guaranteed RS source is High Amylose Maize Starch. Sold as King Arthur High Fiber Flour or something like that…50% RS and also used in tons of studies. I’m just leery of industrial corn, but it’s a good source of RS.

    • Gassman on April 11, 2014 at 10:19

      How would one go about getting TS tested for resistant starch? It passes the non-Newtonian fluid test, but it takes longer to settle than PS. I don’t test BG because I don’t have issues with BG (as far as I know). I sleep well after a slug of TS and PD-U, but I never had sleep issues. I have lost weight, but I’ve continually modified my diet. Right now, I eat no sugar at all, and eat seafood, some beef, and fruit and nuts, and lots of veggies. I haven’t found a source for plantain starch that doesn’t have added stuff. Like I posted earlier, it works for me. Still to add in a small amount of PS to my TS next week to see if it still gives me gas.

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 10:56

      One would simply send a sample to: along with about $250.

      If we ever get this book done (hint, hint) I plan on using a large portion of any money I make to get lots of foods tested. Book #2 will be even better.

    • pzo on April 11, 2014 at 14:06

      Christoph, if you have an Asian market around there, they will have PS at about 1/3 the cost of Bob’s.

    • Ann on April 12, 2014 at 01:10

      I tried both PS and TS from an Asian market that I frequent for fish sauces, rice, and noodles, and discovered that I have bad reactions, like food allergies, when I eat those items that are processed in other countries. Someone suggested that they aren’t as careful about keeping gluten from cross-contaminating as they might be here in the US, so if you have any gluten issues that may be a problem. Of course I don’t KNOW that that’s what happened to me, but it happens every time, and not so with BRM products.

  11. Kimberley on April 10, 2014 at 19:28

    For those of us not in the US and unable to participate in the American Gut project, could someone please provide the equivalent GI Effects test name and number?

  12. Nancy on April 11, 2014 at 00:44

    Following, ’cause this is my bad gut. Hopefully to become a good gut.

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 08:20

      So you’ve uncurled from the fetal position and rejoined the war against the pathogens! Awesome. Thanks again for letting us use your very personal info to spread the word. Lots of people will be watching you for the outcome. Hopefully yours will be a true rags-to-riches gut bug story!

  13. Jo tB on April 11, 2014 at 01:23

    Thank you Nancy for sharing your story and Tim for writing it up. It is very difficult for people whose experiment with RS failed to get heard amongst all the success stories. It makes us feel like failures.

    My experiment failed. I intuitively didn’t want to join the potato starch only hype as I felt that would maybe solve one short term problem to create another one long term. I wanted to use several RS sources and started with plantain flour instead. As expected by blood sugar levels dropped considerably (for a T2 diabetic), but after that first week my sugar levels were all over the place again. Back to square one. I have since done a lot of reading on what could be the cause. That my gut biome is out of whack is evident. I have other issues to contend with, like suffering from constipation for 40 years. I have recently discovered that I have low body temperature, which apparently effects metabolism as the enzymes need normal body temperature to do their job effectively, which apparently causes the bad guys to take over the asylum or the good guys to overgrow in the wrong place.

    I have come to the conclusion to get my poop analysed. As I live in Holland I will have to find a lab that will do an extensive analysis, not just your quick job.

    I hope other “failures” will tell their story as well, so that we all can learn from each other. Nancy’s story has definitely given me food for thought.

    • bernhard on April 11, 2014 at 12:58

      And btw, the tater this sounds really good, time available to attend?

      ASM 2014

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 08:39

      A friend related yesterday that she also failed at RS and has been recently diagnosed as hypothyroid.

      I hope you find a place to get a good poop analysis in Holland. There is a Dutch blogger talking about RS, don’t have a link, but maybe re-post this story there and you very brilliant ‘Dutchies’ can figure out how to get meaningful, cheap testing done. Hey, you all figured out how to control the ocean, surely the gut is no match.

      Have you heard of the young man from Delft named Antonie Philips van Leeuwenhoek? We call him the Father of Microbiology. Make him proud!

    • bernhard on April 11, 2014 at 12:56

      “Who Are the 99%? Insights into the Uncultivated Bacterial Majority”

      If this is true, only percent identified, I’d really would like to know: As you can’t test the unknown (or can they) what can the tests be good for, really?

    • gabriella kadar on April 11, 2014 at 14:10

      Jo could try beans. They are low glycemic and contain RS. I’ve been eating 1 cup of beans every day (or lentils) plus 2 cups of cooked vegetables per day and blood glucose is excellent. No spikes. I’m not diabetic, but I still don’t like spikes.

      If beans cause gas, then start with very small amounts and build up.

      Low body temp = ? hypothyroid. Grace commented the other day that it’s unusual to have normal HgbA1c levels with hypothyroidism.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 11, 2014 at 14:34

      Thanks Gab.

      Low thyroid causes
      —leaky gut/permeability
      —thus food allergens (nightshade, oxalates, FODMAPS, dairy/wheat, etc)
      –fungal overgrowths (candida loves low body temps!)
      –any overgrowth will cause further leaky gut (bacterial, fungal, parasitic)

      VLC causes low thyroid even if the thyroid panels appear ‘normal’ by raising reverse T3 which effectively block thyroid receptors

      Unfortunately this discussion must include modern environmental toxins as well — mercury also blocks thyroid receptors as well as being an endocrine disruptor and estrogenic.

      I think there are RS failures because the root causes aren’t fully elucidated — and it’s ‘wrong’ to not be able to tolerate regular non-toxic food.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 11, 2014 at 14:41


      Love your phrase “bad guys to take over the asylum or the good guys to overgrow in the wrong place”. That is precisely what happens!

      Good luck– I have confidence you’ll find more help here.

      I had exactly the same overgrowth as Ms. Nancy and it wasn’t that hard to fix. This is the common malady that I see clinical — (same ‘fingerprint’) yeasts outta the wazoo, a bacterial overgrowth and usually a random parasite. AmGut fails to pick up on the major health crisis which is caused by antibiotic use, yeast overgrowths or parasites.

      Here is how I fixed it:

    • Q on April 11, 2014 at 21:29

      Jo, I was a failure also. I am hypo-thyroid, low body temp, hypoglycemic, alcoholic, frail, with lots of health issues. I could not tolerate RS at all, which didn’t surprise me, because I can’t even eat potatoes! I gave up on PS early on. I tried tapioca which I could tolerate but the scuttlebutt was that tapioca was probably light on RS.

      So I was pretty much ready to end my experiment. I only didn’t throw my packages of potato and tapioca starch in the trash bin because I had noticed that they provided amazing satiation. Which is difficult to get for a hypoglycemic. So I started trying just a little tsp. with every meal. And it was good. Then I went to also a couple TBL at night. And found it helped me stave off hypoglycemia during the night. Then I added in the probiotics to my nightly dose and quite quickly lost my addiction to alcohol. Which was miraculous.

      This is not to say RS is for you. It might very well not be. It’s just to say that for compromised persons, a VERY slow approach may do wonders. Good luck!

    • Jo TB on April 12, 2014 at 00:33

      Thanks Dr BG, I had summised that it might be a slow thyroid. I have quite a few of the classic symptoms, and I had it tested 4 years ago, but everything came back “normal” It’s all down to the diabetes I was diagnosed with. I have noticed many times that the tablets just don’t seem to have any effect and that something else is affecting my high blood sugars. One day my BS level will be fine and I will have eaten all the wrong things and the next day will be high and I ate all the right things.
      Quite by chance I read your blog post yesterday, and will definitely give it a go. I think my constipation, my diabetes, my slow thyroid, my out of whack gut bacteria are all inter-related. When I fix my gut bacteria, all the other things will fall into place.

    • Levi on April 12, 2014 at 01:10

      Thought I’d finally drop a comment first time ever on a paleo blog/forum (After being all about paleo almost 2 yrs!)
      This is one of the things I had been thinking asking you about, tatertot. Where to get gut testing done, that is affordable and thorough enough (for myself concerning fungal problems at the moment, as well for my thesis next year).
      The dutch blogger is melchior meijer and this is post about resistant starch (I couldn’t believe the number of comments when checking out the post again):
      After I asked he said he’d email me, but I still haven’t got one so I figure I’m going to ask my question already on the blog post itself. As you, Jo, probably want the answer too.

    • tatertot on April 12, 2014 at 09:07

      Dag, meneer!
      I have no idea about gut testing in other countries. I figured Melchior Meijer would know. Maybe someone else can help?

    • Jo TB on April 13, 2014 at 02:51

      I have found a good site in Holland that does the test. We can order direct. It is a complete profile (14 analyses) and includes DNA-enterotyping. The suggest consulting with a therapist to get a full understanding of what you’ve got. Sounds like a good point.

      I will definitely be taking this test.

    • Mo on April 13, 2014 at 04:02

      Q, what you report here is HUGE. After a few months of probiotics and RS I have now zero interest in alcohol or any kind of sweets. Since they were never a big deal for me to begin with I didn’t realize how important this might be in the larger picture.

      Thank you so much and please keep us informed.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 13, 2014 at 14:41

      Q Goddess~

      You’re nothing short of miraculous! I love your story. If you’re brain is at half mast right now, I can’t wait to see it flying high again.

      When I was really sick with CFS (Chronic Fatigue) I had similar things reactive rollercoaster sugars, low body temps, couldn’t workout (used to do triathlons) and got bloated with all foods, even water lol. After antibiotics, I had yeasts that were spewing out aldehydes and alcohol. I’m so grateful that Tim and Richard were so persistent (close to one year now) because it helped me so much to recognize the key elements for gut health. And several very good friends in China placed the SBO probiotics in my hand (thx Will) and hosted meals rich in fermented foods and Chinese tubers.

      Q~ I made a huge marketing nightmare and error. When we started our ‘colloboration’ in Oct/Nov, I named the gut protocol for what it was. What a mistake. lol No one knew what I was talking about! That slowed down attempts to roll it out which was excruciatingly frustrating for me… IMHO People still don’t understand, but the results (like yours) speak for themselves. Thank you for your stunning story.

      Dr. BG’s 7-Steps Paleo* Gastro IQ SIBO Protocol

      (with major contributions from Tim/Richard/Marie/Gab/FTA)

    • Q on April 13, 2014 at 16:23

      Dr. Grace, You are very kind. My story is really quite pedestrian and all too common, but it’s a sad story that could use a hopeful chapter. It sounds like you have suffered a lot also. For people with long-term afflictions, persistence can feel very futile at times. I know I have needed many breaks from “trying” before I could get up and try again. Having a serendipitous resource enter your life can make all the difference. So much gratitude to all here.

      If I can be of any service to you, et. al. with branding help, just let me know. I would love to see it take flight.

      PS. Looks like Duchovny’s next project is to play Charles Manson. I am preparing my loins for the serious moral dissonance.

    • Laura on April 13, 2014 at 18:29

      I also believe fluoride disrupts the thyroid; replaces iodine there and causes hypothyroidism. (Or is it just that iodine is the antidote for fluoride?)

    • gabriella kadar on April 13, 2014 at 18:51

      Yes Laura, all the halides compete in the thyroid, fluoride being the most ubiquitous. The worst source is tea. 1 cup of black tea per day is probably not too bad, but people are drinking green tea like it’s some sort of panacea of the gods. It’s really not. I know someone who was drinking a litre per day. After cutting down some, TSH was 2.2. …how about cutting it out altogether? That would have been ideal. Why do people drink that ahem, crap?

      Broth prepared from ocean fish bones is also very high in fluoride.

      I don’t know what effect, if any, chlorinated swimming pool water has if someone spends a lot of time swimming or teaching in a pool area.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 14, 2014 at 05:21

      Jo TB, Awesome~ Please let us know how we can help you after your results.

      It’s funny I was looking back which feels like AN ETERNITY but Ellen and I were talking about failures like yours here back in mid Dec and what empty zoo cages are about.

      It is apparent to me then and now that America and the blogosphere has a lotta empty zoo cages otherwise gut problems, autism, allergies, asthma, diabesity, dementia and cancer would not be at epidemic rates. Personally I think every person should go on the SBO probiotics prior to any resistant starch to start seeding the gut and RS rich foods before PS (which is mega-dosed RS).

      So many stories seem to be emerging that probiotics make the biggest differences.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 14, 2014 at 05:26

      Q~ May guardian gut angels always protect you and your path. Thank you for your offer! Aahhh, Duchovny is challenging himself. U CRACK ME UP.

    • Levi on April 14, 2014 at 11:10

      Ah yes! so gratefull for this, jo.
      I too am determined to take this test.
      But I will first submit/propose this to my ‘paleocoach’ (he’s also dutch but has a practice in antwerp, went to him thrice), because previous summer I had already been wanting to do such tests but by then he told me that they are either or unreliable, incomplete, expensive(for the info that you’re getting out of it), unnecessary, etc. So I would like to hear what he has to say.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 14, 2014 at 15:24

      Q~ I don’t know how to contact you (Richard is withholding LOL or busy blogging). Please click on ’email’. Thxxx!

    • Ellen Ussery on April 18, 2014 at 13:44


      I have been using Garden of Life. Probiotic Smile and it has made a noticeable
      Improvement in the color of my teeth in just a few weeks. Whiter but natural looking. I don’t drink much tea at all though.

    • Adrienne on April 18, 2014 at 13:37

      @Gabriella – I think each person’s mileage may vary regarding tea and thyroid troubles. Also, the type, quality and source of the tea and water that it’s made with also matter. I drink several varieties of tea because they taste delicious to me. I drink them unsweetened and add nothing except occassionally fresh ginger and chai spices in the winter especially. But just as with wine, there are so many varieties within each category and they taste very different from each other It all depends upon one’s taste preferences. I tend to drink more green and white varieties in the summer and more oolong and black varieties in the winter. The glaring exception is matcha which I enjoy year round. My tea loving ways have never made a change in my TSH, free T3, free T4, or antibodies. The downside for me is that I do find that the tea stains the teeth much more than coffee (which I also love), but I have zero cavities and that’s pretty good considering I’m no spring chicken. Re gut health and tea, Kresser’s site had an interesting article back in March about how polyphenols may improve gut biome — tea is a rich source of polyphenols so maybe it helps the gut bugs.

  14. Gemma on April 11, 2014 at 04:19

    Or what is not lurking in your guts? On Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Tregs, IBD and colon cancer (fresh study from April, 2014):

    “In this study we identify a subset of human T lymphocytes, designated CD4CD8αα T cells that are present in the surface lining of the colon and in the blood. We demonstrate Treg activity and show these cells to be activated by microbiota; we identify F. prausnitzii, a core Clostridium strain of the human gut microbiota, as a major inducer of these Treg cells. Interestingly, there are fewer F. prausnitzii in individuals suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and accordingly the CD4CD8αα T cells are decreased in the blood and gut of patients with IBD. We argue that CD4CD8αα colonic Treg probably help control or prevent IBD.”

    • Gemma on April 11, 2014 at 04:32

      On the same subject for more lay people 🙂
      A Novel Regulatory T Cell Population in the Gut

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 08:54

      Gemma – Very interesting. The Treg angle of RS and gut health has MASSIVE implications. When we first started talking about RS last year, a couple of really geeky scientists emailed us and started blabbing on and on about RS and T cells and Tregs. I just blew them off as ‘too smart for me’ but now I keep seeing Tregs everywhere I look.

      F. prausnitzii is very interesting, also. It’s kind of a core species involved in all this. The F. stands for Faecalibacterium, a genus, but luckily, just like with Morganella, there is only 1 species belonging to this genus, so we can infer from the AmGut Taxa report how much F. prausnitzii we have.

      In Nancy’s case, her taxa report shows she has 3.66%. I have 4.81% and my wife has 2%. Not sure what we can learn from that, but it is a core gut bug for sure.

    • Gemma on April 12, 2014 at 10:49


      Agreed. Still, so many puzzle pieces. F. prausnitzii is nothing without B. thetaiotaomicron… Some sorghum, anybody?

      A polyphenol rich sumac sorghum cereal alters colon microbiota and plasma metabolites in human subjects

      Sorghum-based dietary intervention enriches Faecalibacterium prausnitzii in fecal samples of overweight individuals

    • Gemma on April 12, 2014 at 05:56


      I could only find these figures:
      “The Meta-analysis of the Human Intestinal Tract project have shown that F. prausnitzii is one of the most abundant anaerobic bacteria in the human gut microbiota, with a proportion of around 5% of total bacteria in faeces.

      Overall, the bacterial count of F. prausnitzii in IBD patients was significantly lower (6.7 ) log10 CFU/g feces than healthy controls (7.5 ) log10 CFU/g feces..”

      Your wifes 2% is probably too little.

    • tatertot on April 12, 2014 at 09:17

      I have a feeling that F. prausnitzii is a key indicator to overall gut health, and one that is susceptible to being wiped out by antibiotics.

      If anyone reads this in the future, the genus Faecalibacterium only has one species…prausnitzii, so if you see a genus-level percentage without a species listed, it can be inferred that it is actually F. prausnitzii.

      I was glad to see that Nancy had good population of this.

    • gabriella kadar on April 13, 2014 at 05:08

      AFRICAN CEREALS – the Grains For Health Foundation‎

      Comparison of ORAC values tables are in this document.

    • T-Nat on April 13, 2014 at 07:22

      that is a very informational deck on Sorghum. But it seems that most of the anti-oxidant and tannin benefits seem to be exclusive to the darker varieties. The sorghum that is commercially available is the white kind. So, one may not get the top benefits listed in this document with store bought sorghum.
      What are your thoughts?

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 14, 2014 at 06:18

      The problem with Nancy’s AmGut is that we don’t know WHERE is the F prausnitzii, has it creeped up north into the small intestines where it doesn’t belong??

      After a single course of antibiotics, this is what occurs. It may be temporary or > 2years.

      Prolly so? It’s weird the report showed a hefty portion of F prausnitzii but absolutely no corresponding protective good bugs (Bifido and LABs).

      The B and L guard and preserve the integrity of small intestines from colon invaders.

      Once the small intestinal real estate gets invaded, digestion of all things becomes impaired — carbs (leading to wild BG rollercoasters), proteins and fats. Pancreatic digestive enzymes plummet, eventually the stomach also is affected and gastric acid decline (then people very smartly take TUMS or a proton pump inhibitor sealing in the SIBO lol — people are ‘addicted’ and symptoms gradually worsen over time).

      Reactive hypoglycemia and rapidly dropping BG lead to not only cravings but migraines.

      For carb related migraines, evening out the blood sugars and preventing BG drops helps. Taurine (1 gram twice daily), omega-3 fish oil, mag, avoiding simple carbs/sugar, eating complex high fiber carbs, and eating protein/fats particularly in the morning all stabilize insulin/BG.

    • Ann on April 14, 2014 at 11:24

      Dr. G – you said:

      “Once the small intestinal real estate gets invaded, digestion of all things becomes impaired — carbs (leading to wild BG rollercoasters), proteins and fats. Pancreatic digestive enzymes plummet, eventually the stomach also is affected and gastric acid decline (then people very smartly take TUMS or a proton pump inhibitor sealing in the SIBO lol — people are ‘addicted’ and symptoms gradually worsen over time).”

      I LOVE this explanation of what happens in the small intestine. This statement alone has been the most simply put that I have seen. Clearly I’m not there yet. Still having the insulin ups and downs, and they are the worst symptom. I’m going to try this week to stay on the RS (plaintain flour) and SBOs and other probiotics, raw ferments) but cut my other carbs back down to every other day. I feel like I’m just eating too many carbs right now and it’s keeping my insulin too high. I’m not getting a lot of wild BS fluxuations (via meter testing) but still feel the anxiety and stress that the high insulin levels give me. It’s clear to me that continual low BG meter readings can mean that insulin is staying high to keep the BG levels low. I’ve had that proven through testing in the past. Right now, the extra carbs via sweet potato, yukon gold, and some white rice on a daily basis are the only thing that could be doing it. I quit dairy again about a month ago, and have felt some better, but still getting the heart palps and anxiety. I had nearly cleared all of that up when about six weeks ago I started eating rice, beans, and potatoes, at about 150 grams of carbs per day again, and have slowly started having increases in the anxiety and hypoglycemia again. Just not ready –YET– for that many carbs? I’m also just no sure white rice is going to do it for me. It might be too “simple” of a carb source.

      On the flip side, the increase in carbs from the potatoes, rice, and beans didn’t cause ONE POUND of weight gain — amazingly– but I did see a bit of fat redistribution to stomach and upper body that I had lost on VLC. That tells me there is still an insulin component causing some havoc.

      I just really need to show you some love here though, because about a month ago I had written you and asked about adrenals, hormones, etc, and about how I would ever heal properly being the mother of a profoundly disabled son who hasn’t slept normally for sixteens years. When he doesn’t sleep I can’t either. You wrote me and said something about advice that some “very Wise Goddesses” had given you. I just want you to know that you, Tim, Richard, and Gabriella, and many others here as well, have become my “Wise Goddesses” and I cannot tell you enough how comforting FTA and Animal Pharm have been for me to visit. I can read, hear my story told by others, and know that whatever knowledge and experience are out there, someone will chime in and share it. You’ve all created a very kind, sharing, and safe place for exploration, communication, and sharing for this community of people. I, for one, can’t thank you all enough! I hope someday I can be of service to others like you all have helped me!

      The other thing I wonder though, since all of this suspiciously reminds me of yeast overgrowth, is whether or not adding in the carbs could be causing yeast overgrowth? I know you say that the SBOs eat the yeast, and provide an environment that is inhospitable for yeast and pathogens, but I did feel like this when I know I was having a yeast problem – I had thrush. Just so hard to know how to address different symptoms.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 14, 2014 at 16:14

      Gorgeous Goddess Ann~!

      Thank you so much for your kind words. You are an amazing angel for many, I bet.

      I’m glad you kind find moments of respite and rejuvenation here. I love this “You’ve all created a very kind, sharing, and safe place for exploration, communication, and sharing for this community of people. ” Because I don’t know anymore than most here and we are just learning the limits v. limitless changes our humble guts are capable of. I’m always lucky to meet the right people at the right time as Q was discussing (or let go of the right people LOL).

      You are well read with Schwarzbein, so the ‘high insulin’ state is actually beneficial for the adrenals though you noticed the mild adverse effects of the high BGs. Don’t worry or despair. That is fantastic the weight gain was not distributed out of line! I had about 10 # and it took nearly 2yrs to get off! Dr Lam has some of the best adrenal advice if you have not seen. I still fail into adrenal dys-repair if I overdo coffee, excitement or workouts. You’re not the only one!

      This is working great for me. I’m a fan of all things eleuthero and rehmannia (Must’ve been Russian in a previous lifetime!)

      I appreciate your feedback on the SIBO description — will have to use it numerously now! Thank you!

  15. sally on April 11, 2014 at 05:39

    The final editor’s comment was for me a hallelujah!! moment. For awhile now I have felt that so much of what DNA snp experts were recommending had the ‘horse has left the barn feeling’ since most of their recommendations did not give the gut priority and had effect much later in the metabolic process, where it is much more difficult to control. I went over and found a quote by Dr. Ayers at CI where he answered a question I had regarding Fukishima radiation in the food supply: ‘Health is 90% diet, gut flora and exercise. Personal genetics, environmental toxins, etc. contribute a few percent each.’

  16. Garett on April 11, 2014 at 06:17

    Something to consider about the migraines are the effects of biogenic amines, like histamine and tyramine. Certain species of gut microbes produce different variations of decarboxylase, an enzyme that converts amino acids to various amines. For example, some species produce histidine decarboxylase that converts the amino acid histidine into histamine (and others do the same for tyrosine–>tyramine). These biogenic amines can trigger migraine-like symptoms (e.g. headaches, dizziness, ear “fullness”). One thing to also consider is the interplay between these amines and other neurotransmitters that contribute to digestion and migraines both. For example, histamine receptions stimulate gastric acid, motility, etc so an excess of histamine in the gut can trigger digestive distress. One specific interest for Nancy may be the histamine H3 receptor, which is an inhibitory auto-receptor. In other words, this receptor down regulates subsequent endogenous histamine production. However, this receptor also down regulates other neutotransmitters, like serotonin and GABA, both of which may be important for her migraines. In fact, SSRIs are often prescribed for comorbid migraines and IBS for this reason.

    This all points to a possible connection between excessive species of decarboxylase producing gut microbes, migraines, and IBS-like symptoms. If this is the case, it may be worth talking to her physician about trying an SSRI or SARI to help keep the digestive and migraine symptoms in check so that she can branch out and eat a wider variety of fermented foods and prebiotics to increase microbial diversity.

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 08:16

      Garett – Thanks for the thought-provoking, detailed response. I googled ‘carboxylase producing gut microbes’ to see if I could match any to her taxa…read on:

      “While histamine in fermented products, such as wine, cheese, and fish sauce, is produced by gram-positive lactic acid bacteria, histamine in raw fish products is caused mostly by gram-negative enteric bacteria such as Morganella morganii, Klebsiella spp., and Enterobacter spp. During the decomposition of fish such as tuna and mackerel, histamine forms in significant amounts due to bacterial decarboxylation of histidine present in the muscle tissue. ”

      That was from

      Nancy’s gut is completely dominated by gram-negative, enteric bacteria, a full 40% of her gut!

    • Garett on April 11, 2014 at 09:01

      Very interesting indeed. Thanks for sharing Tim! There may be good news though. Like most things in the microbial ecosystem, there are other species that balance out decarboxylase-producing ones. Specifically, some species produce diamine oxidase (DAO), which is the enzyme responsible for breaking down, you guessed it, amines (particularly histamine)! So the goal is starve out the decarboxyl producing bugs and get in as many of the DAO species as possible. I can’t remember off-hand what these species are but I have a guide somewhere that lists the histamine degrading and producing species (theoretically at least). It was from some Google support group on histamine intolerance I think – you may be able to find it using your well-demonstrated Googling skills 🙂

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 11, 2014 at 15:01

      Thanks Garett~! And thanks Tim~! Those are brilliant connections.

      Histamine was definitely one of the core problems that Richard wrangled with as well (lifelong chronic sinus congestions, rhinitis, rebound rhinitis with drug use) which was all eradicated by SBO probiotics + RS.

      Nancy saw wonderful improvements in chronic GI complaints within just a few days of Prescript Assist. I don’t know which strains are histamine-degrading but I’m certain continued resetting of the gut, crowding out these pathogens and decarboxylase-producing strains will lead to improvements in histamine and other inflammatory disorders shortly. It would be so nice to see a flourishing and harmonious garden in her gut and brain soon.

      What I love about SBO probiotics is that they all chomp and dine on yeasts and pathogens for ‘breakfast lunch and supper’ and are all a part of our natural compost-like colon. Keep up the strong work Nancy~!

    • Jo TB on April 12, 2014 at 00:47

      Great to read that Nancy is getting good results with Prescript Assist. I used it a while ago, but didn’t take it long enough it seems. Maybe stick with it a lot longer and gently use small amounts of RS with every meal to get my gut back on track. (Yes, Prescript Assist is available in Holland!!)

    • Ann on April 14, 2014 at 11:35

      Garett – I’ve had tons of digestive issues, food intolerances, bowel issues, allergies, hormone imbalances, blood sugar issues, etc, etc. — everything everyone here has talked about. When I first started eating and drinking fermented foods again, I had headaches constantly. If I didn’t eat the ferments, no headaches. I kept doing it because I knew it was one of the keys to my recovery, but I really suffered. It was like having seasonal allergies every day. I turned the corner when I finally added in the SBOs. After about three days of taking the Prescript Assist, AOR Probiotic 3, and Primal Defense Ultra, the headaches disappeared and have not returned. Clearly something I was missing.

      Another weird symptom I DO have now that I strongly suspect is because of the SBOs is that I continually have a *frog* of *stuff* in my throat right where my larynx is. I can cough or clear my throat, and it moves, but it’s never really gone unless I don’t take my SBOs for a day. I can also use my Neti pot, which helps temporarily, but it always comes back. Not sure what that’s about. It’s become very clear to me though that these SBOs have EVERYTHING to do with allergies and our food intolerances.

    • Nancy on April 17, 2014 at 01:26

      Garrett, thanks. I wish I fully understood your comments, but a lot of it is over my head.

      I will never ever take an SSRI again. The side effects are just too awful. There has to be another way to stop the migraines.

  17. September on April 11, 2014 at 06:49

    Just read an interesting article I’d like to share: “NLRP6 Inflammasome Orchestrates the Colonic Host-Microbial Interface by Regulating Goblet Cell Mucus Secretion.” Don’t let the long title scare you; it’s a fairly straightforward read. The take home messages are: (1) Goblet cells make mucus and release it into the intestine to make an organized, almost sterile layer of mucus and a second, looser layer of mucus that ends up with your gut buddies in it, (2) the release of mucus requires NLRP6 which also uses autophagy machinery for the release, (3) NLRP6-deficient mice have less mucus release and bacteria can invade the thin layer of cells below the mucus, even getting down into the crypt. What does this mean for us? I think that getting the good guys in is good, but it’s worth considering focusing on that mucus layer. How is your nose and skin? Dry, cracked? If so, you may want to get off the very low carb diet, eat a range of fruits and vegetables for micronutrients, and re-think IF if you haven’t. I personally don’t like fasting, but I’m thinking about moving it into the rotation.

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 09:02

      Sept – Also a bunch of new studies that show the MUC genes that control how much mucin we secrete are turned on by butyrate specifically.

      Most butyrate in the average gut is used up by the colonocytes in the cecum, never travelling much further than the transverse colon. A diet filled with RS and plant fibers create a butyrate rich atmosphere all the way to the distal colon.

      The mucin layer is probably one of the most important features of our gut for sure.

    • September on April 11, 2014 at 10:00

      Very interesting! I’ve been trying out Terry Wahl’s approach of eating 9 fruits and vegetables a day (in 3 categories) + RS + PrescriptAssist and L. plantarum for various minor complaints. Went off the RS and pills and most food for a week while I had the flu and now I’m back to runny nose, sneezing, dry skin. I can only imagine what’s going on down below. Another thing the paper talked about was that when the closer, tight layer of mucus is disrupted, you can start to find commensal bacteria invading. So I would imagine one could have a microbial community that is not characterized by significant dysbiosis but that increased inflammatory cell infiltration and disrupted gut barrier function are still present (at least early on in the process).

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 11:01

      Terry Wahl’s basic approach has the same problems as us hawking potato starch in the beginning…can you see it?

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 11, 2014 at 15:07

      September ~ UR SO SUPER BRIGHT, I LUV U! Thanks for your thoughts. Good luck with your program — I think rainbow foods is an important basis for our health. Personally I hope Wahl’s gets into whole legumes, lentils, tubers, roots and GF grains eventually because she is such a powerful voice. L plantarum particularly seems to do well when there is a synergistic combo of fuel — RS + pectin + oligosaccharides. You can’t get this without the technically non-paleo foods. Pectin yea, but not any appreciable RS or oligos like bean oligos or gluten-free soaked grain oligos (which come in a nice package with hefty RS).

      Evolution is a goddess, isn’t she?

      Thank you for the article and your sharing insights!

  18. brazilbrad on April 11, 2014 at 07:32

    I’d love to hear more about migraines and other potential problems created by a bad set-o-gut-bugs. Skin/acne problems is another big one I think. Tim?

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 09:04

      The migraine connection is all new to me. Seems like a simple connection, though. Skin problems, especially eczema seem to respond very well to soil-based probiotics, L. Plantarum specifically.

      Brain-gut connection in action!

  19. Richard Nikoley on April 11, 2014 at 08:39


    I’ve gone back to my old commenting system so you’ll now have the ability to subscribe without commenting. I hopefully will have a separate plugin working soon that allows social network logins instead of filling in the details.

    • Linda on April 11, 2014 at 15:20

      Woohoo! Thanks for allowing subscriptions.

  20. marcie on April 11, 2014 at 08:56

    This is very interesting to me. I hope there will be other follow ups with Nancy progress with everything she has been doing. The problem I see is finding a Dr (natural or otherwise besides Grace 😉 ) that has a clue on any of this! Maybe in several years but certainly not now. So you really are only left with getting the profile done through them and then self treating with trail and error. That’s why I think it’s so important for others to share their stories both good and bad. Great read, keep them coming! Can’t wait for the book.

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 09:40

      You mean like this naturopath?

      “Now, aside from the fact, as we’ve discussed, that there are plenty of other ways in which we can feed our gut bacteria with actual food — something we can politely take credit for having successfully done for the past 2.6 million years — there are some unanswered questions about resistant starch.”

      Her entire article is just so ridiculous, please go flood her with comments as to that effect!

    • Energy! on April 12, 2014 at 09:16

      Got a “page not found” so maybe they took it down. Did see an older dismissive article on RS…(yawn.)

    • Chupo on April 12, 2014 at 12:49

      That Primal Docs article is gone. What happened?

    • Richard Nikoley on April 13, 2014 at 13:59

      The post is here still there. Here’s the latest comment by the doc.

      Face palm for me, basically.

  21. Jon McRae on April 11, 2014 at 09:08

    On of the things that I first stared was the SBO pro-biotic about a month before I started adding the RS, like Richard mentioned in earlier posts I wanted to fill the cage with the good bugs or more of them before I started throwing a bunch of food at them.

  22. Frisha on April 11, 2014 at 13:32


    You might want to reduce your kombucha consumption as it is made with sucrose. During fermentation yeasts cleave the sucrose into its two component molecules, glucose and fructose. Yeasts then consume the glucose, but the fructose remains. A 16 oz bottle may contain quite a lot of fructose, and this can cause malabsorption and other digestive ills – fructose can be a trigger for IBS. It also is processed by the liver and preferentially stored as fat.
    The other issue with store bought kombucha is that it is often pasteurized or otherwise treated to prevent the alcohol content increasing after bottling. So it is quite likely most of the probiotic organisms have been killed. You can easily make your own kombucha which will be teeming with live cultures. I make my own but only drink a couple of ounces a day to keep my fructose intake low.
    Kefir also has quite a lot of milk sugar (lactose) in it, depending on how long it has fermented. I’m diabetic, so am well aware it will spike my blood sugar. So for you I’d suggest taking care to limit both kombucha and kefir consumption.
    Sorry for your issues. I do sort of envisage the bad crew in your gut sending messages to your brain, ‘Tell her she’s hungry, tell her she needs something sweet, more sugar!’

    • Nancy on April 17, 2014 at 01:30

      I do love the relaxing feeling it gives at the end of the day, but if the sugar is still in there, I don’t want it. I have a rapport with the company and so I will call and talk with them tomorrow about how it is treated. I just don’t want to make my own right now — one day, sure.

      My sugar cravings are going down after a couple of very hard days with very bad migraines. Getting better. I’ve added the other probiotic too.

  23. Ataraxia on April 11, 2014 at 20:55

    Richard, Tim, Thank you for all the work to bring to light the importance of the proper feeding and care of the gut biome. It was thankless yeoman’s labor in the beginning a year ago when it centered on RS and I’m among the many who are so very glad you persevered.
    As many thanks to Grace, for bringing forward the absolutely vital aspect of seeding that biome and repairing it.
    You three make a fantastic team.
    If you didn’t exist, someone would have to invent you.

    Tim’s reference in the post to the unfriendly microbe that loves to eat sugar and Nancy’s addiction to sugar reminds me to ask you if you think a healthy gut can maybe ameliorate cravings too, apart from ‘flattening’ blood sugar levels through the day.
    Could it then perhaps set the stage so that the sensations of ‘hunger’ in well-fed people are not so urgent?

    For anyone to take advantage of that, though, they’d need to be aware of the exaggerated perception of ‘hunger’ in perennially well-fed people.

    There’s a deeply embedded idea that people’s weight loss is sabotaged because they get ‘hungry’, that their hunger drive is so strong they can’t help but satisfy that hunger, sooner or later.
    In fact, even at the most rational and ‘enlightened’ sites, the holy grail seems to be some form of eating that ‘spontaneously’ reduces hunger.

    This accepts and encourages the idea that hunger is part of the overeating problem.

    No one addresses the fact that while “the hunger drive” is indeed damn strong, as it should be for any animal to survive, this hunger is not what well-fed or over-fed people experience.
    Having been overweight and in the midst of metabolic syndrome at some point, but also having been truly hungry at other times, I’ve got to say I agree with what has become an ‘old fashioned’ idea, that what well-fed people experience is the sensation of an empty stomach and eventually a quiescent gut. This is so far from real hunger as to be funny, except it isn’t because it’s nevertheless a very real sensation that limits people’s choices.

    There is no reason to fear the empty stomach sensation when a meal is missed, especially when someone is at the opposite extreme and is suffering from overfeeding.
    No human evolved processing food 20/7/365 per year.
    In that case, the sensation of an empty stomach is actually a relief, for a properly functioning body.
    However, you’d never feel it as such if the empty sensation is automatically interpreted as hunger.

    For those with metabolic syndrome, there’s an additional effect due to the sensations that come from a drop in blood sugar (sensations that remarkably happen well above dangerous BS levels).
    It doesn’t help that insulin-dependent diabetics can truly suffer from hypoglycemia and lose consciousness, which is so widely known by now that every middle-aged westerner who’s simply on the sugar roller-coaster thinks they have to ‘listen to their body’ when they feel their own dip in BS or else!

    Fun physiological fact: dropping to a BS of 3.3 to 3.9 (roughly 60 to 70 mg/dl) does not starve the brain of glucose and does not cause any physiological problem. Except for uncommon, very visible pathologies, no one can drop below that range into true hypoglycemia by not eating. Nor even by starving, right up to the stage of organ failure. Snowflakes range down to BS 3.3. That’s it.

    The (non-hypoglycemic) ‘low BS’ sensations, such as ‘queasy’, light-headed, bad mood etc. increase the anxiety response, which increases those sensations further and round and round it goes.

    It’s a very real effect in the end. Pavlov would be impressed.

    Getting off the roller coaster is the only way to stop those sensations and correct the metabolic inflexibility and glucose over-dependence that causes them, but it can’t happen when people are trapped by fear.

    Anyway, no one ever addresses this, so I thought I’d bring it up here.
    Everyone, on sites both rational and extreme, pussy-foots around, trying to avoid any perceptions of casting ‘blame’.

    To be clear, it’s not of course anyone’s fault that they became overweight.
    That doesn’t mean that their own misconceptions aren’t perpetuating the problem.

    It goes well beyond the food pyramid, the gubmint, the pesticides, the evil food industry engineers, mommies not breast feeding babies or too many antibiotics.
    Over-fed people in environments of plenty actually think they are hungry when they miss a meal or two.
    This is sad.

    It’s also a cage.

    Richard, is occasionally touching base with true hunger one path to freeing the human animal?

    • tatertot on April 11, 2014 at 21:21

      Thanks for the thoughts! I think that once your gut is working right, hunger is more normal. Of course, there is still the effect that your second-brain, sensing food availability, wants you to eat and eat and eat. We live in a land of plenty. That must be hard for a 3 billion year old microbe to comprehend.

    • Ataraxia on April 11, 2014 at 22:10

      Absolutely. “Wants to eat” and being truly hungry though are very different things. When the gut is working right and when glucose control is normal, that’s not usually enough to effect weight loss, so would it be useful to actually go hungry once or twice, learn to tell the difference between the real need and the clamoring gut?

    • Ellen Ussery on April 12, 2014 at 12:29

      Paul Jaminet recommends his version of IF , BUT cautions those with adrenal problems that it could be counterproductive for them.

      The frequent small meal regimen is part of Dr Schwarzbein’s program.from her book a while back…unfortunately she recommended whole grains and I don’t think there was any mention of prebiotics. So it only worked for some. But it sounds like with those adjustments it has helped Ann.

      There seem to be many permutations of insulin dysregulation and we are doing a disservice to talk about a one size fits all path to recovery.

    • Ellen Ussery on April 12, 2014 at 14:08


      Actually, I did not mean to imply that the multiple small meals themselves were a complete solution but that with the inclusion of pro and prebiotics could, for some people, improve things a great deal.

      And then, at some point after being on such a program and seeing some of the changes Ann mentioned it would certainly be worth trying what you suggested in your second comment to Ann (which i had not seen when i wrote mine.)

      But I still hold to the point that our metabolisms are broken in many different ways and to many different degrees. So on some cases, there may never be a complete restoration of function and a good crutch may be all there is.

    • Jim on April 12, 2014 at 00:22

      Second brain?

      Come on man!

      Should we hold a funeral every time we take a dump?

      You all are going way over the top with this gut bug thing.

      I like taking a good, healthy dump as much as the next man.

      I have been told numerous times that I have shit for brains. I never took that literally though.

    • Gemma on April 12, 2014 at 02:03

      You might like to do your homework and some reading first, before criticizing someone who is trying to teach you. Start here, for instance,
      and then go on, perhaps with the help of uncle Google.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 12, 2014 at 07:09

      “Richard, is occasionally touching base with true hunger one path to freeing the human animal?”

      It’s how ketosis gets done right.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 12, 2014 at 07:24

      “Second brain?”

      More neurons in the gut than the rest of your bod, including spinal cord, put together—outside the brain.

      Check out what happens to mice when they remove the vagus nerve, one of the pathways of brain-gut connection.

    • Ataraxia on April 12, 2014 at 23:49

      For whoever wants the recent review of research on the microbiome’s effects on specifically metabolism, I’ve found a side door. It’s free, but the original direct link may be privileged for some regions because paper is still prepublication.

      Instead, can try this publisher’s site that has the Abstract and click on “Get pdf” on the right about half way down the page :

      tatertot, the first FATLOSE trial results are also mentioned in the Review, among others, and the paper with those results is cited, but it is behind a pay wall. I’ve enlisted Marie’s help to get it, though it’s 2:30 am in NY so I think tomorrow! She pointed me to this research group a while back in the first place.

      Meanwhile, a summary of those first FATLOSE results is given on the FATLOSE 2 trial’s site, linked above and here :

    • Gemma on April 13, 2014 at 00:59

      Thanks, Ataraxia. And here some more links, mentioning the FATLOSE trial, to chew on (more graphs, pictures,..)

      Gut microbiota determine insulin sensitivity

      The power of microbiome

    • Ataraxia on April 12, 2014 at 11:04

      “It’s how ketosis gets done right”.
      Molyneux would be interested, fasting ketosis to help break the hold of ‘bread and circuses’, natch.

      However, if not aiming for hormesis and especially autophagy, I don’t know whether it’s necessary to go long enough without food to drop into ketosis in order to just reset hunger sensations and get off the sugar roller coaster. I was wondering.

    • Ann on April 12, 2014 at 11:45

      Ataraxia -While I understand what’s trying to be said here about hypoglycemia not being particularly dangerous, it is still extremely uncomfortable, and at times even scary. And I am well aware of the difference between hunger “pangs” and true bodily hunger, when the body is in need of food. I spent my teens and early twenties avoiding food for all of the caloric bullshit reasons. Went days sometimes. I’m no stranger to what hunger feels like. I am now a metabolically broken individual with “reactive hypoglycemia.” One of those “snowflakes” 😉

      Having said that, I wholly agree that the insulin sensitivity MUST be reset. I don’t agree, however, that fasting, missing meals, or being hungry for long periods of time are necessary to do this. It takes longer, but I have cut my insulin levels to about 1/4 of what they were, over a six month period of time, by eating breakfast first thing in the morning, and eating WHEN I FEEL HUNGRY, three meals a day, and no snacking. Not letting myself get to a point where I felt so hungry and light-headed that I was uncomfortable was the only way for me to manage this without ensuing panic attacks and constant anxiety. Waking in the middle of the night in the throes of a low blood sugar-induced panic attack, night after night, is NOT a place anyone wants to be. That went on for months for me before I realized, through testing, what the problem was. The only way I was able to get that under control was to eat a small meal right before bed. Even now, after lowering my insulin as much as I have, intermittent fasting is a slippery slope for me. If I go more than twelve or thirteen hours without eating, I suffer low blood sugar anxiety for the rest of the day. Say what you will about it, but having to take a benzo to get through the day just for the sake of skipping a meal, i.e. “intermittent fasting”, is not any healthier than eating three squares a day. I believe it *should be* okay to fast like that, but a lot of metabolically broken folks are not there yet, and may never be. I’m hoping it works for me at some point, but I’m not there yet. It’s not worth feeling crappy and all the anxiety that goes with it for me.

      I’m sure for some people what you’re saying is right on. For me, however, getting things under control and feeling good every day is ALL about eating when I’m hungry and not snacking in between.

    • Gemma on April 12, 2014 at 11:52

      whether it’s necessary to go long enough without food?

      Sure it is. To restore the metabolic function of mitochondria (which are most probably endosymbionts – prokaryotic cells living inside the eukaryote). Not via ketosis, per se, but via caloric restriction. Read Doug Wallace on mitochondrial damage and mutations.

      ora long story here:
      “… the hypothesis that aging is the result of mitochondrial decline due to oxidative damage to the mitochondria and mtDNAs. This hypothesis, when combined with our current understanding of caloric regulation of mitochondrial function, can neatly explain why caloric restriction is able to extend mammalian life span. ”

    • Ataraxia on April 12, 2014 at 12:04

      Fixing the gut biome has been shown to have a direct effect on correcting metabolic syndrome in humans, but it’s not shown to directly produce weight loss, Yet (unlike mice). A necessary but insufficient condition? Or too early to tell, but promising? :

      This very new review from the Dutch group who did the FATLOSE fecal transplant trial in humans, not yet in print, accepted for publication :
      Full text >

      Fatlose Trial data :

      Fatlose2 Trial data (refers to insulin results of first trial) :
      “We found significant reduction in both periferal and hepatic insulin resistance implicating substantial effects of whole body glucose metabolism. Moreover, we found significant reductions in fasting lipidprofiles after allogenic fecal therapy, which are in line with previously published data suggesting a direct effect between duodenal lipid uptake and glucose production orchestrated by gutmicrobiota driven brain-gut axis. The efficacy of fecal therapy is explained by enhanced production of specific short chain free fatty acid butyrate produced by the infused lean donor feces, which probably restores normal fecal physiology by implantation of missing lean-figure flora components.”

    • Ataraxia on April 12, 2014 at 12:18

      Gemma, I completely agree that the effects you discuss are solely the province of ‘long enough’ fasting, which to me is indicated by dropping into fasting ketosis. That’s why I made that distinction in the comment. I typically go to 24 or 32 hrs for those reasons. It takes that long if starting from a glycogen-replete state.

      However, to simply break the dependence on frequent glucose ingestion and/or to peg real hunger , I was thinking it may take less time perhaps? That would make it more doable for more people. It’s been too long since I started and just don’t remember how long these effects took in the beginning.

    • Ataraxia on April 12, 2014 at 12:46

      Ann, that makes sense and you describe the reactive hypo and anxiety cycle vividly well!
      For metabolically ‘broken’ people who have Also done extreme caloric restriction repeatedly, as you describe, controlling their intake is not a question of whether they know what hunger is.

      However, a healthy gut biome seems to keep blood sugar levels, well, level. It combats insulin resistance, produces glucose directly by microbial glucogenesis etc. Reactive hypoglycemia does not happen then. Irrespective of being benign, since that BS dip causes the vicious cycle with anxiety, it makes anyone have a hard time decreasing their intake. This is why I’m wondering whether that improved biome, though not directly causing weight loss, may set the stage for weight loss, by allowing lower intake.

      A long term ‘cure’ if you will for the metabolically broken, whether they know hunger or not. Since you have a baseline when it comes to reaction to fasting, have you tried again after taking the pro and prebiotics to see if you’re maybe getting closer to metabolic flexibility? That sure would be something!
      Someone trying a short fast (16-17hrs) for the first time after tinkering with their gut bugs would not have a comparison like you do.

    • Ataraxia on April 12, 2014 at 13:19

      Ellen, sure, there’s no one size fits all, no ‘magic bullet’. However there are a few common human physiological traits that people just don’t like to look at. The very real but nevertheless anxiety-induced overeaction to a blood sugar dip is one of these.
      It’s something that can sabotage any of many possible long term solutions. I don’t think looking for a workaround can hurt.

      The frequent small meals you mention have always worked, short term, but it’s a crutch. It addresses directly the reactive hypoglycemia from the over-dependence on glucose metabolism. It doesn’t break that over-dependence.

      You know, like the crutch of long-term ketosis itself for diabetics? It’s a different one, but a crutch nevertheless, where the VLC keeps the A1c down, but leaves people instantaneously more susceptible to large glucose spikes due to peripheral insulin resistance induced by that long term ketogenic metabolic state. If they can avoid straying, they won’t have a problem. Long term, I don’t know who can avoid that unless they are a hermit.

      A ketogenic diet may however work as an intervention to give the insulin receptors a break so that maybe, just maybe, insulin sensitivity eventually recovers. But a ketogenic dieter won’t know whether they’re no longer metabolically broken until they try increasing their carbs slowly.
      Crutches hurt.

    • Ataraxia on April 12, 2014 at 14:59

      Ellen, then I think we are in perfect agreement. Rare to find that on other sites, mostly because even when there’s agreement it is usually empty bandwagon/cheerleader type. Thanks for sticking to your guns while clarifying. Learning/content is really magnified like this. It’s one thing I most enjoy about FTA comment sections, everyone teaches each other directly :-).

    • Ellen Ussery on April 13, 2014 at 05:19

      I had assumed that everybody here was already on board with high quality mostly made from scratch food. But it certainly is a good point and bears repeating.

      By the way here is something i just learned that makes a quick high quality ready to eat meal or snack easier.

      Easy to peel hard boiled eggs.

      Don’t boil them. STEAM them. They peel ” a treat” , as the Brits say, even very fresh eggs, warm from the nest.

      Can’t believe we have been raising chickens for thirty years and i never knew this. Maybe it’s been common knowledge and it’s only me in the dark all these years….anyway we always have some in the fridge now

    • Ann on April 12, 2014 at 17:39

      Ataraxia – I would say it’s gotten better for me, as I can now go longer between meals without completely breaking. I recently put a snag into my recovery by trying to add dairy back into my eating after being intolerant and cutting it from my diet for about six months. I now know that dairy, while not affecting my blood sugar in a measurable way, was causing my insulin to rise again, as I was starting to get those panicky feelings and nagging anxiety again. Back to the drawing board – minus the dairy this time. Boo Hiss!

      So yesterday I went the 13 hours I was talking about and had a horrible day. It’s just not working for me at this point, although I will say since the RS and probiotics, I am able to go longer between meals, I don’t have to eat at night before bed anymore, and I am also not having tremendous hungry feelings, even after adding in about 100-150 grams of rice, beans, or potatoes a day. That never happened before! In the past, that amount of carbs would have had me craving more all day long. So, some progress has been made.

      The damn adrenal fatigue is a real booger to recover from. It seems like just to have a good, normal day, I have to be pretty perfect in my sleep, my schedule, my amount of activity, and my eating. Hard to do, but I keep plugging away. Dr. BG talks about her adrenals and recovery, and it gives me a lot of hope.

    • tatertot on April 12, 2014 at 20:59

      Miss Ataraxia – Your first link above doesn’t work, but the two links to FATLOSE trial data are intriguing. Has this study been completed?

      I would love to see the full text of the study!

    • Ataraxia on April 12, 2014 at 21:37

      Why thank you for your interest sir, and I’m sorry about that link, but I don’t know what’s wrong because it does work for me when I tried it again now.

      The first FATLOSE was completed, the quote in my comment is about that study’s results.
      The pdf link that you had trouble with is to their review article that captures some of those results, references their paper and mostly covers the field of recent research about fecal transplants specifically for metabolic effects, (not only C.Diff. cure), including the ob/ob mice study.

      Maybe try the link again? Or maybe it depends where one is clicking from, since it’s pre-pub : “This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1111/cei.12293”
      Let me know if still doesn’t work and I’ll find a way to get it to you :-).

    • GTR on April 13, 2014 at 04:56

      I’m replying here to the information about multiple small meals method. What I’d like to add is that such approach requires strict control of food quality. Unfortunately conveniet food-like products that would seem to fit the definition of a small meal are specifically designed to make you eat more, by making it difficult to stop eating.

      Example advertisment proving this:

      The example way the food manufacturers engeneer such products

      Now it means that there would be a trap without the quality control of food used for small meals. That is one could decide to adopt such framework of eating, but because of the choice of food that “you can’t stop” eating this would end up with huge caloric overshoot. So basically using non-addictive, high quality products as small meals is a must.

    • Ataraxia on April 13, 2014 at 11:20

      Gemma, thanks! The first powerpoint presents the main results well for whoever can’t get the pdf.

    • Ataraxia on April 13, 2014 at 12:22

      Anna, sounds like real progress to me, good for you! I don’t see any reason to ‘test’ again with the meal spacing/’fasting’, until and unless you ever want to start tweaking daily energy and metabolic resilience.

      The diet composition and gut biome change really seem to be enough for you in order to get off the carb-craving, panic inducing, adrenal draining ‘sugar roller coaster’, since you can go from meal to meal without snacking nor straining your will-power to resist snacking.

      Lots of people can resist for a few months, or get help with ‘small’ snacks to ‘take the edge off’, weight-watchers members for example. They drain themselves though doing that, because they never actually break the glucose addiction.

      You however seem to be truly improving because it’s getting Easier for you. That’s really great.
      I’d say your ‘test’ of 13hrs also confirms a real improvement in metabolism if it didn’t send you into a panic attack. But that could be my confirmation bias 🙂

      Yes, Dr.BG has great advice on adrenal fatigue, not to mention encyclopedic knowledge on anything related to the biome!

    • Richard Nikoley on April 13, 2014 at 14:33

      Cuisinart makes an egg steamer that works like a champ. You can do hard, medium, soft with ease.

      It’s in my Amazon Store and it’s like 25 bucks if I recall.

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 13, 2014 at 15:15

      Thanks Gemma~!

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 13, 2014 at 16:12


      Stay HUNGRY 😉 Love your comments and deep thoughts. Thank you for joining in here and your kind words! “You three make a fantastic team.”

      I feel like a jasmine between 2 weedy tigernuts LOL. When we started in Oct/Nov, the nuts were totally clueless about THE GUT: the microbiota, what it does, HPA-thyroid-microbiota axis, brain-biota axis, when it breaks, why it gets disrupted (VLC, antibiotics, FastTract (luv u Norm), SCD, GAPS, strict paleo), how to fix it, fuel it, etc. What an impressive change, no? I love the ‘team’. I don’t like to talk and Richard talks… and Tim knocks us up with everything RS related.

      Love your name — Have you heard of the med Atarax? that’s one of my favorite drugs. Works for everything — alcohol withdrawal, opioid withdrawal, migraine prophylaxis, nausea/vomiting, hayfever, horrific allergies and anaphylaxis, itching, anxiety/tension, pain control, car/boat sickness, insomnia (because these are all GUT RELATED). Atarax (hydroxyzine) blocks the main histamine receptor all over the body and some adrenaline receptors. By blocking dopamine and serotonin in the gut, it moves the gut along and reduces nausea.

    • Jim on April 13, 2014 at 17:48

      Thanks for the link Gemma.

      Very interesting reading.

      Maybe my shit does have brains? Perhaps the other way around?

    • gabriella kadar on April 14, 2014 at 04:26

      Backtracking here in re: insulin sensitivity and the use of RS for type 2 diabetics:

      For someone on a VLC, it can take 6 weeks for RS to cultivate the right bugs but only if the bugs are there to begin with. Which may explain why some people did not see a benefit in blood glucose from taking RS. They need some heavy duty probiotics or a fecal transplant.

    • gabriella kadar on April 14, 2014 at 04:30

      Ellen, steaming is also faster because you don’t have to wait for a volume of water to come to a boil. It uses less energy. Eggs are less likely to break and leak because they are not bouncing around.

      I’ve been telling people for ages but old habits die hard.

    • Gemma on April 14, 2014 at 08:59

      @gabriella kadar

      Off topic, but where else to post it? Not only for the dentists…

      Symbiotic relationship between Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans synergizes the virulence of plaque-biofilms in vivo

    • Jo TB on April 15, 2014 at 03:24

      Ataraxia, Dr M. Nieuwdorp works at the Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC), the largest hospital in Holland. It is affiliatged with the University of Amsterdam (UvA). You (and/or Tatertot) can contact him by email if you like.
      I couldn’t find anything about the FATLOSE trials on either website.

    • Ataraxia on April 15, 2014 at 05:14

      Jo TB, thank you for the information and helpful suggestion. I had requested that Marie send the journal article to tatertot and she did :

    • gabriella kadar on April 15, 2014 at 06:26

      Gemma, I can’t even get the abstract.

    • Gemma on April 15, 2014 at 07:05

      @gabriella kadar

      If I get it right the long suspected Candida involvement in caries might be explained by this. “Hypervirulent biofilms”, Dr. Grace will like it…

      “Streptococcus mutans is often cited as the main bacterial pathogen in dental caries, particularly in early-childhood caries (ECC). S. mutans may not act alone; Candida albicans cells are frequently detected along with heavy infection by S. mutans in plaque-biofilms from ECC-affected children. It remains to be elucidated whether this association is involved in the enhancement of biofilm virulence. We showed that the ability of these organisms together to form biofilms is enhanced in vitro and in vivo. The presence of C. albicans augments exopolysaccharides (EPS) production, such that co-species biofilms accrue more biomass and harbor more viable S. mutans cells than single-species biofilms. The resulting three-dimensional biofilm architecture displays sizeable S. mutans-microcolonies surrounded by fungal cells, which are enmeshed in a dense EPS-rich matrix. Using a rodent model, we explored the implications of this cross-kingdom interaction in the pathogenesis of dental caries. Co-infected animals displayed increased levels of infection and elevated microbial-carriage within plaque-biofilms compared to those infected with either alone. Furthermore, co-infection synergistically enhanced biofilm virulence, leading to an aggressive onset of the disease with rampant carious lesions. Our in vitro data also revealed that glucosyltransferase-derived EPS is a key mediator of co-species biofilm development, and that co-existence with C. albicans induces the expression of virulence genes in S.mutans (e.g. gtfB,fabM). We also found that Candida-derived β1,3-glucans contribute to EPS-matrix structure, while fungal mannan and β-glucan provide sites for GtfB binding-activity. Altogether, we demonstrate a novel mutualistic bacterial-fungal relationship that occurs at a clinically relevant site to amplify the severity of a ubiquitous infectious disease. “

    • Gemma on April 15, 2014 at 08:21

      @gabriella kadar

      Full (a paper published ahead of print), if interested:

      Accesed from the press release:

    • tatertot on April 15, 2014 at 08:30

      Thanks for sharing, Gemma. Nice to be first to read something new.

      Biofilms are interesting not only in the mouth but in the intestines, finding ways to break into pathogenic biofilms is getting lots of attention, L. plantarum seems to be a good probiotic for biofilm problems.

      As to dental biofilms, I know the paper is about infant oral health, but I think that the more ancient forms of dental hygiene were probably better at dealing with oral biofilms that our modern methods of daily brushing w/fluoride. Miswak Sticks, oil pulling, etc…

    • gabriella kadar on April 15, 2014 at 09:31

      Thanks, Gemma.

    • Duck Dodgers on April 15, 2014 at 10:02

      I can’t help but wonder if L Plantarum likes to eat the Candida mannan and β-glucans. I know L Plantarum has been shown in vitro to be effective against Candida. Technically the cell wall of Candida is comprised of prebiotics, but it rarely seems to be vulnerable, and it makes me wonder if L Plantarum knows how to harness those yeast-wall prebiotics.

    • Gemma on April 15, 2014 at 10:06

      @Duck Dodgers

      I have been impatiently awaiting you jumping on this as soon as I noticed the magic keywords: mannans, glucans.

    • Duck Dodgers on April 15, 2014 at 10:36

      Gemma, I battled yeast/candida issues last year after I was VLC, but now I just have some very minor residual issues that don’t bother me that much (some dandruff if I eat something yeasty/sugary). Grace had previously mentioned that L Plantarum can be effective against Candida, and I’ll just mention that taking L Plantarum pills makes me feel a bit ill. And I think my dandruff appears to be lessened while simultaneously feeling ill — which makes me think that it’s triggering a die-off reaction in my gut. And if so, that’s pretty awesome that a single strain can be so damn powerful. Very odd, when you think about all the different strains that are in the microbiome.

      I have to say, L Plantarum sure seems like a superhero in the gut.

    • Gemma on April 16, 2014 at 00:17

      @Duck Dodgers

      Interesting thoughts. Have you thought of taking some coconut oil together with L. plantarum, then? Anti-candida effects of coconut oil + better survival of probiotics in the presence of fat a la Mr. Heisenbug. L. plantarum even used in the extraction process of coconut oil so they are proven to like each other.

    • Duck Dodgers on April 16, 2014 at 07:39

      Gemma, thanks for the tip, but since my yeast/candida exploded on VLC (while taking copious amounts of coconut oil), I think it became well adapted to ketones.

      Everyone thinks that coconut oil and MCT oil is a powerful anti-fungal, but I think that’s just based on the idea that some of the fatty acids, like caprylic acid, are supposedly anti-fungal in a little petri dish. What few people seem to realize is that coconut/MCT oil may in fact be an extremely weak anti-fungal while providing lots of ketones in the body that the yeast/candida mitochondria can metabolize for energy. I can remember taking a teaspoon of the highest quality MCT oil would give me horrific candida/yeast reactions (now I know why).

      Don’t get me wrong, I use coconut oil for cooking nearly every day, and I have no problems with it in normal quantities. But, I wouldn’t take it as an anti-fungal — I think it’s fairly weak for that application.

      Supposedly olive oil is a better anti-fungal than coconut/MCT oil.

    • Gemma on April 16, 2014 at 08:40

      @Duck Dodgers

      Kill it with some mushrooms, then!

      Lipid constituents of the edible mushroom, Pleurotus giganteus demonstrate anti-Candida activity.

    • Duck Dodgers on April 16, 2014 at 09:14

      One step ahead of you. Already starting to look into it! 🙂

      Honestly, it’s not a big deal for me. I’m about 90% cured already. So, getting the last 10% is pretty much just for fun at this point. It’s the difference between getting a little flaky skin if I eat a pizza or not. Even if I never figure it out, I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve made.

    • Nancy on April 17, 2014 at 01:35

      Isn’t that an anti anxiety med? Does it really prevent migraines? Is it addictive? Does it promote health?

    • Gemma on April 17, 2014 at 03:04

      @Duck Dodgers

      Guerilla war in the Fungi Kingdom! Makes sense.
      Interesting that oyster mushroom (Pleurotus) shows an inhibitory effect against microbes too – Klebsiella tested here:

      And antiviral too – works against common warts.

  24. Depressed | Against The Grain on April 12, 2014 at 14:06

    […] reading this post over at Free The Animal, I’m asking myself if my current restrictive diet (basically just […]

  25. Ann on April 12, 2014 at 01:18

    I don’t know if this has been talked about anywhere, but I thought I would mention it because it might be important to someone wanting to test that is wondering if testing is feasible for them. Metametrix is a great lab to work with. They have a payment option that allows you to pay a very fair amount up front, and if your insurance denies all or part of the claim, and they have that denial in writing, they will send you bills for the balance, but not attempt to collect. I paid a minimal fee, with respect to what the test costs, and when my insurance only paid a *token* amount on the charges, Metametrix sent me two bills, but made it very clear that they will not attempt to collect on them in any way. Apparently the insurance laws say that the labs have to make a “reasonable” attempt to collect the balance, so Metametrix sends out two bills and then you never hear from them again.

    Just thought I would throw this out there since a lot of folks might be thrown off by the idea of testing because their insurance doesn’t cover such testing, or covers only minimally. I actually have really good insurance, but this test seemed to be a little too “woo woo” for them, so they didn’t pay a lot.

    Not sure what the procedure is when there is NO insurance coverage at all – maybe someone else has experience with this?

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 13, 2014 at 15:47

      Dr. ANN ~ UR PERRRRFECT (and soon your hormones will be too!)

      Yes — Metametrix is committed to increase exposure and utilization of there valuable functional medicine lab panels. With non-HMO insurance plans, as you mentioned, the costs are minimal copays for the patient.

      $99 GDX 2200 GI panel
      $129 GDX ONE to assess bacterial and fungal dysbiosis, toxins, nutri’l status, much more

      I’d love to order for people, but I’m backlogged until May. I drop ship within 5-10 biz days and results only 1mon (versus AmGut 1/2 year).

    • Deborah on April 13, 2014 at 20:11

      Oh my goodness….would love to get one of these tests….where do I sign up?

    • kimberley on April 19, 2014 at 20:15

      Dr. BG – Is it possible to get on some sort of a waiting list for the testing, should you become available in May? Thanks kindly, either way.

  26. john on April 12, 2014 at 09:37

    Hey guys,

    I’ve been following and experimenting with RS for a while. This is really interesting stuff.

    I haven’t seen anyone mention this, but both my girlfriend and I are getting more frequent IBD when we take Prescript Assist SBO probiotics with RS. It’s like the body recognizes the PA as a foreign invader – and then there are more frequent, looser stools to get rid of it.

    Without the SBOs, the RS is positive for both of us except for the massive amounts of gas it causes. She’s a small, thin woman but she looks pregnant, and she has to pass gas all the time.

    We’ve been mostly paleo for years, which has helped with some gut problems, but we’re still battling them. We had some really bad digestive problems until getting off tomatoes (nightshades aren’t great for us, they up the IBD and eczema).

    So yeah, I definitely have energy and sleep benefits when taking plantain starch, but taking SBOs triggers loose stools and frequent visits to the toilet…not that they weren’t frequent before RS, but RS does improve them alone, just with massive gas that has our bellys bursting at the seams.

    So I’m really puzzled, anyone have ideas? The metametrix test is next on my list, but I won’t be able to for at least 6 months…

    • Ellen Ussery on April 12, 2014 at 10:52

      Have you tried just taking the PA For a while with no RS? Then adding back smaller amounts of RS?

      Or just high RS food?

      Or taking Potato starch or Green banana or another brand of plantain

      Or taking the other recommended SBOs?

    • john on April 12, 2014 at 09:40

      Forgot to mention, the gas is completely odorless. Strange to be able to toot for 30 seconds strait and not smell it. I think we could start a band…

    • Ellen Ussery on April 13, 2014 at 06:38

      I would definitely try the other probiotics that Grace recommended. They are all good and it just depends on the individual which will work best. Who knows? There may even be an optimal sequence for using them. And hopefully there will be new ones that provide some of the other species…

      Also, maybe not a good idea to eat as many green bananas as you can get your hands on. Try going slow

    • john on April 13, 2014 at 06:21


      No, I’ve only been taking the PA with the RS. My gut has been so bad for so long that I don’t think the PA can colonize without the RS. I went really low carb for a while due to allergies, and I’ve been dosed with some nasty pharmaceuticals in the past.

      The only high RS food that I seem to tolerate is the green banana. Rice, beans, lentils, etc are all a no go. I’m eating as many green bananas as I can get my hands on, but there just doesn’t seem to be fermenting action, I just get bulking and air and urges to use the toilet until everything is out of me.

      I will try some other SBOs when I get a chance, I went with the PA because it’s supposed to be one of the best, I just don’t understand why it doesn’t seem to be working for me or my GF.

      I’m goint to try taking maybe 1/4 or 1/8 of a capsule at a time with green bananas and build up a tolerance, but if there’s a better option I’d love to find it!

    • Drini on April 13, 2014 at 12:25

      Hi John, I’m having the same problem.
      I’ve started supplementing with PS, and generally adding more fermentable fiber in my diet, since mid January. At first I was feeling a little off, but then things were ok. I wasn’t seeing any big improvement, but RS was not causing me any big problem either.
      Since adding probiotics and more particularly Prescript Assist 2 weeks ago, I’m having a tough time. These past 2 days it’s getting better, but I was very bloated most of the time (this happens only when I binge on sugary and grainy foods), feeling sluggish and my mood was very bad. The first 2-3 days after starting with PA, I had major gas after ingesting PS. Before I had gas as well, but it was manageable, after PA, those 2-3 days I had cramps from gas. I also notice that my tummy hurts most of the time if I touch it at the hight of the cecum. I really do not know what’s going on, but I intend to go on until I finish my first bottle of PA (I’m taking two capsules per day)…

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 13, 2014 at 15:26

      I’ve heard this complaint often. Have you considered stopping PS, then adding back later?

      Have you had antibiotics or a longstanding fiber-less diet (VLC or strict paleo)? I think for the vast majority of people, SEEDING the gut before adding too much fiber (RS, vegs, beans, etc) is prudent. Please let us know your progress Drini soon!

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 13, 2014 at 15:38


      Have you read Heisenbug’s wonderful blogs? We love him!

      I talk about L plantarum (with Tim) here

      Consider products that have L plantarum to recover faster from pharmaceutical and antibiotic damage.

      Richard forwarded me this link earlier — haven’t tried it myself yet but I’ve heard great responses so far.

      Heisenbug and I lurrrrrv lurrrrv lurrrv L plantarum! Specifically I like it for it’s small intestinal protection role. It’s a delicate place lol. Sorry you’ve had so many antibiotics and drugs. Are we doomed? Hope you and the GF feel better shortly!

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 13, 2014 at 15:42


    • gabriella kadar on April 13, 2014 at 18:24

      Grace, given that Crohn’s can almost be diagnosed by testing antibodies to yeast, are you sure that probiotic liquid is really appropriate for these people? Some Celiacs also test positive for reaction to yeast.

    • john on April 14, 2014 at 09:54

      Thanks Grace! I started reading heisenbug’s blog now and will try to get some L plantarum. It’s been over a decade since my gut was working ok. I really want to build up the whole intestinal tract again, after years of IBD and eating low carb because of it, it doesn’t feel like it’s doing much of anything except acting as a rapid transit highway.

      Ellen: you could be right. Given the state of my gut, I think this could be a multi-year colonization project. I’ve got to find something that doesn’t trigger the massive dumping action (pun intended) from my gut every time I take the probiotic.

      Prescript Assist customer service said that it can take a couple of weeks to get used to their probiotics, but I’m not sure if I can make it that long taking it daily, it’s basically like fasting for me. Everything I eat is out in less than 1 hour, with 4-5 TMI times. I’ve been taking it sporadically for a few months, basically waiting to take it again until I recover, but there’s not hint of my gut beginning to accept the SBOs.

      I wasn’t very clear on this, but I can’t get that many green bananas, so I’m having only 1-2 per day, and they are not super green, maybe middle green. I literally take a cap apart and pour about 1/10 in a hole I make in the banana before eating, but my body reacts the same way. I’m going to try only SBOs in water next while fasting, so hopefully they can find something already in the gut to latch onto and not get flushed out.

      It’s been a gradual progression of eliminating foods that don’t cause this reaction, but I’m left with almost nothing to eat except meat and really starchy fruits (like pears), so I’m in some dire straits to figure the probiotic gut colonization out.

    • Drini on April 14, 2014 at 13:42

      Dr. BG, thank you for your prompt reply.
      I actually already feel better. It took me more or less two weeks to get used to PA. But I did not stop the SBO’s or RS
      Now I would say I feel the same, as I felt on the PHD diet. I hope that long term I will be able to feel even better. I have a question, however, since I suspect that I might have some degree of candida, what’s your take on saccharomyces boulardii? Thank you very much. Drini

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 14, 2014 at 15:10

      Gab ~Have no idea but some people probably tolerate fine, as it’s a spectrum, no? Many people test positive to yeast besides Celiac — nearly all autoimmunity (autism spectrum, autoimmune hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, etc). D*MN BREAD.

      It probably depends on which stage someone is in their healing process and length of bread (S cerevisiae) avoidance IMHO.

      A good litmus test is whether they are are tolerating any (fungal) fermented foods like vinegar, kombucha, coffee, etc… When I was sick, I couldn’t even tolerate a lot of soy sauce and I’m asian LOL

      Anti-Saccaromyces Cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA) are elevated in autoimmune thyroid disease ASCA in autoimmune thyroid disease.
      Yazıcı D, Aydın SZ, Yavuz D, Tarçın O, Deyneli O, Direskeneli H, Akalın S.
      Endocrine. 2010 Oct;38(2):194-8.

    • Nancy on April 17, 2014 at 01:40

      John, my gut is the one in the article. I knew I couldn’t tolerate PS or straight up RS, already, so I did the Prescript assist without it, and my stools got far better, less loose, more formed, less urgent. Try it – maybe your gut pop isn’t yet ready for RS in full therapeutic doses either. Like Tim says – it’s almost diagnostic. If big RS sources hurt you, the biome is bad.

  27. Ellen Ussery on April 13, 2014 at 06:42

    Try going slow and increasing in tiny increments with both the green bananas and various probiotics as Q wrote above

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 13, 2014 at 15:34

      Thanks Ellen!

      Drini~ Switching to Barry’s plantain flour or green banana flour can give your gut great fuel after you’ve seeded the gut better.

      For food there are an endless supply of RS and fiber filled choices —

      Green Bananas
      Mt Uncle’s Raw Ladyfinger-Banana Flour (high resistant starch content)
      Jobs tears/Adlay/croix
      Brown rice
      Purple rice
      Red rice
      Black rice

      Tim’s Fermentation/Soaking Tips
      Journal Source: HERE
      Basmati white rice
      Basmati red rice
      Mung beans
      Green beans
      Red beans
      Kidney, black, fava, navy, etc beans
      Steel cut oats
      Chana dal
      Okinawan purple potatoes
      Andean purple potatoes
      Nagaimo (Chinese white mountain yams)
      Raw or Roasted Potatoes

    • tatertot on April 13, 2014 at 19:17

      Grace – working hard to broaden my palate! I found Chana Dal, made by Bob’s Red Mill no less the other day. I cooked the first batch a bit too long, so I turned it into hummus, lol.

      The trouble is, most of the foods in that looong list are so foreign to us, but I am bound and determined to work my way through it.

      The different colored rice and different grains are so interesting. The commercial varieties of rice and grain are so different from these heirloom/organic types. The roots and tubers on the list are found pretty easily, cooking tips are just a few clicks away. It just takes getting out of your comfort zone to try them.

    • Jo TB on April 15, 2014 at 03:43

      After I saw it mentioned on this site, I did some googling, and surprise, surprise, I found the exact same brand in my local Asian toko in Amsterdam.
      So will try add Mung Been flour to my diet as well.

    • Nancy on April 18, 2014 at 10:44

      What about powdered Nopal? They sell it now in bags in health food stores, saying it helps diabetes. It’s called dehydrated cactus. Is it RS too?

      (I am not doing powdered RS of any concentrated kind yet because mine is the “subject” f’ed up gut and I need to make sure I’m colonizing good beasts before I start. I want to be a guinea pig with very clear befores and afters.)

    • tatertot on April 18, 2014 at 11:05

      Hi, Nancy! Been thinking about you!

      Nopal is not RS, but it’s close cousins, inulin and FOS. Very, very healthy food. I believe it originates or actually is from the prickly pear cactus. Another item along this same line I have been trying recently is maca powder, made from a radish-like tuber.

  28. […] reading this post over at Free The Animal, I’m asking myself if my current restrictive diet (basically just dairy, […]

  29. marie on April 13, 2014 at 17:43

    About FATLOSE, I’ve sent the requested paper to Tim and Richard as asked. It’s been really warm with a hazy sun here for the very first time this year, so I’m slow 😀

    The powerpoint that I see Gemma has linked may be just as good for info purposes. The original article is not a big paper in any case, this was a short clinical trial, not an extensive research project. It has led to another trial, more extensive, FATLOSE2.

    The significance I see, for what it’s worth, is that this comes as close to ‘proof’ as you can get in science. A parameter (the gut biome composition) is directly, measurably changed and end points (metabolic ones: insulin resistance, lipid profile) are directly measured, in the same subject that is actually suffering from the condition in question (metabolic syndrome, with obesity), and this is done across many subjects. In a placebo-controlled, double-blind manner. Gold standard.

    So personally, I kinda like FATLOSE for it’s direct simplicity : Change your gut biome, change your metabolism. Period.

    • marie on April 13, 2014 at 20:19

      tatertot, my pleasure, but we can thank Ataraxia, I had been sitting on this absentmindedly 🙂
      FATLOSE 2 covered more questions and went longer, 18weeks. I’m looking into getting those results when possible.

      Yeah, stands to reason some are lean because they have the wrong microbes, not the best (rather like having tapeworm). Those kind of lean people are often not healthy in a variety of ways.

      “I guess now that dogs licking….” Yes! Microbiome and ‘sociality’.
      Here’s a neat Perspective (a short review) in the journal Science . “Recent research is revealing surprising roles for microbiomes in shaping behaviors across many animal taxa—shedding light on how behaviors from diet to social interactions affect the composition of host-associated microbial communities, and how microbes in turn influence host behavior in dramatic ways.”
      If you already have it or it’s been linked here lately, I’m sorry for repeating! Full text is not available free directly from Science, but the full pdf is on the lead author’s web site :

      (whereby I found that I’m jealous of mice, they get L.rhamnosus to decrease their anxiety, what do we get?! )

    • tatertot on April 13, 2014 at 19:12

      Thanks, Marie! Got it.

      Very interesting indeed. I just can’t help but wonder how the outcome of the FATLOSE trials would have been if the donors and recipients were doing a probiotic/prebiotic regimen like many here are doing.

      Also, wonder how the microbe profile of the donors looked compared to the strains used in the re-POOP-ulate experiements.

      I think that some lean people are lean because they have the wrong microbes, not the best ones. But, it’s a start and it proved it’s point…metabolic markers can and do change with a change of microbes.

      I guess now that dogs licking each other’s butts and rabbits eating each other’s poop makes a lot of sense now.

    • tatertot on April 13, 2014 at 21:48

      Marie – Thanks for all the great links. The last one “Animal Behavior and the Microbiome” was fascinating.

      I especially liked this line from the paper:

      “Changes in presence of one bacterium, Lactobacillus plantarum, were linked to the induction of mating preferences.”

      L. plantarum is turning out to be a very important species!

    • Jo TB on April 15, 2014 at 03:51

      Unfortunately I’m well past the mating stage!!!

      I laughed myself silly when I read that. 🙂

      Has Mr Heisenbug seen this this? I’m sure he would appreciate the humor as well.

  30. John on April 14, 2014 at 07:42

    Heartburn out of nowhere! I started PS back in November, all good. GI improvements, etc. All was well. Started SBO’s a few months ago. Seemingly continued improvement. Now a week or 2 ago, I started feeling burning in my throat, fairly constantly, whether I had eaten or not. I haven’t had any sense of heartburn since going VLC about 4 years ago.

    I backed off of both PS, and probiotics. No change to heartburn. If anything it was getting a little worse by the day. I then took the opposite course. Lots of PS/probiotics + fermented foods. Yesterday heartburn was if anything worse. Today, I can pretty much bring up liquid on command, though I haven’t eaten in 12 hours.

    Also, 5 days ago I suddenly got very tired and weak, and had a 24 hour fever with join aches, etc. It was like I had the flu with 0 congestion, digestion differences. Perhaps due to something I ate, but like I said, no digestion issues.

    WTF? I’m fairly concerned since this weirdness started months into the PS/Probiotic regimen.

    • john on April 14, 2014 at 09:57

      Just to be clear, this john is different from the john above. I guess I’ll be john z. from now on!

    • Drini on April 14, 2014 at 13:14

      Hi john and John!
      Yep I also had some heartburn after adding SBO. Never had it in my life. Anyway these past few days I started feeling better again.
      Energy levels are up, bloating is gone and mood is better. I also started taking some saccharomyces boulardii today. Let’s see how this works out.

    • tatertot on April 14, 2014 at 13:58

      If I were to get out-of-the-blue heartburn like ya’all described, I’d do a 48 hour fast, no supplements at all, then just start eating normally again including lots of RS rich foods, but nothing to excess for a few days and see how you feel. Stay away from TUMS and other OTC heartburn ‘cures.’

      If all goes well, start taking probiotics again and see what happens.

      On the S. boulardii – I just ordered some! I have been reading about it for months and everything I read makes me think it will be helpful for everyone (except severe immunocompromised). I also like the thought of taking it only sporadically in summer when eating lots of seasonal fresh fruit. I doubt our ancestors had access to this type of yeast year-round, so my plan is to pop a couple pills an couple times a week in summer. I’m not trying to ‘fix’ anything with S. boulardii, just tuning up my probiotic plan, and this yeast seems to be an important part in the whole picture of ‘missing bacteria’. I also ordered some L. plantarum from Swanson’s as well. 30, 2 Billion cfu pills for $10. I plan on taking one every couple days or once a week.

    • Ellen Ussery on April 15, 2014 at 04:16


      Have you looked at the group of core excercises in the back of Ether Goklhale’s book on back pain?

      They look like conventional core exercises we have all seen before. But there are some subtle differences that involve the positioning of the rib cage. Is it possible that this could affect the vagus nerve in a positive way and together with working the core improve gut function?

      They seem to have that effect on me

    • Ellen Ussery on April 15, 2014 at 04:19

      That should be Esther Gokhale, and the title is

      8 Steps To A Pain Free Back

      (I didn’t have back pain, but her methods resolved an incipient bunion)

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 14, 2014 at 15:15

      John z,

      Boy i wish you had a chance to try the SBO probiotics initially prior to RS. Sorry.

      Are you walking after meals? This moves the gut along which you appear to need

      Tim/tatertot wrote this wonderful guest post for me on how exercise improves SIBO/GERD/heartburn

      Pls ck it out

    • Grace/Dr.BG on April 14, 2014 at 15:24

      That’s nice to hear Drini “Energy levels are up, bloating is gone and mood is better.” Hope you continue to see wonderful results.

    • John on April 14, 2014 at 15:58

      Thanks Tim, I’ll try that! I’ll start the fast tomorrow and post back with results.

    • John on April 14, 2014 at 16:02

      DR. BG, thanks for the suggestion and link! I don’t consciously walk after meals, but I try and stay pretty active generally. I work out 3x a week, I’m 31, lean and strong. I’ll try some more activity after meals.

      Right above your comment Tim suggested a fast, followed by reincorporation of food and RS, followed by probiotics. Your comment indicates that probiotics should come before RS. Does it matter?

    • John on April 14, 2014 at 16:38

      Another detail I find peculiar. Last year I was coming from a “primal” ish eating approach, and wound up eating a lot of pizza and ice cream. Stayed lean, watched calories, but wanted to see how it would affect body composition/hunger/satiety/digestion/etc. (also wanted to eat pizza and ice cream a lot). Never an instance of heartburn, minimal weight gain (165-170 over months of deliberate “over” eating) and great strength gains (one day pulled 405×3 deadlifting, blew away previous PR).

      Towards the beginning of this year kept calories up, shifted to much higher protein (including powder). Weight stayed at 170, strength continued to increase. Not a single instance of heartburn.

      Recently my eating has been much “objectively” better, almost all “good” “whole” food meals except the occasional meal out, but haven’t felt as hungry as usual (I thought perhaps RS was contributing to satiety changes). Then out of no where heart burn! Of course eating “less” when lean = strength plateaus (or losses). Haven’t weighed myself lately.

    • tatertot on April 14, 2014 at 16:41

      John – Do you tale any OTC headache or pain meds, like ibuprofen? I nearly did myself in this winter popping Advil like they were candy. Turns out they tear up the stomach lining.

    • Ann on April 14, 2014 at 17:02

      Tim – we’ve also had problems with Ibuprofen. We’ve cut way back, and now only take Tylenol on occasion. I’ve vomited blood in the past when taking a lot of Advil for *female* issues every month. I just thought my period made my gut bleed…

    • John on April 14, 2014 at 17:41


      I take ibuprofen maybe 4x a year, and as few as possible. I did take one fairly recently, but just one, and it was the first one in months. Otherwise I take no other medications. Something interesting – the heartburn closely followed green banana consumption. I made a smoothie with frozen berries, green banana, and kefir. after making 2 or 3 of those is when I first noticed the heartburn.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 14, 2014 at 18:09


      Didn’t have time to read the other replies yet but my go-to in all cases where anything gets weird like this is a minimum 30 hour fast, lunch to dinner next day. Water only. No supps, no pro, no pre.

      I don’t think fasting should be chronic, but I think intermittent is essential for healthy people. I just don’t think we’re meant to constantly be running food down the tube, 365.

    • marie on April 14, 2014 at 18:28

      “If I were to get out-of-the-blue heartburn like ya’all described, I’d do a 48 hour fast….”
      Tatertot, no wonder Ataraxia favors you!
      You must be the only other person I know who can blithely say “I’d do a 48 hour fast” 😀

      I’ve been trained since childhood and I still find anything above 32 hrs (dinner on day0 to breakfast on day2) requires significant ‘will-power’….which is another way to say that chair legs start to look appetizing to me around lunch time of the second day!

      Though, I’ve found it easier to get through that second day all the way to dinner at 48hrs if I’m taking 2 x 2Tbsp Potato Starch in water both days. I found that out completely accidentally when we were doing those RS+ketosis tests last summer with 4Tbsp in water, so I have you to thank for that! I’ve since split the dose in two so as to spread it out over the fasting day.
      Do you take PS during your fasts?

    • marie on April 14, 2014 at 18:32

      Richard, I must have been typing when you posted that comment and didn’t see it. I completely agree of course, we’ve talked about the benefits of intermittent fasting before.
      So let me ask you, do you take PS on fasting days and does it help? Or, noticed any difference to fasting after long-term PS use nearly a year now?

    • Richard Nikoley on April 14, 2014 at 19:35

      No, when I fast I fast. Plus, I have plenty of times where I take PS on an empty stomach and didn’t eat anything for a few hours after.

    • tatertot on April 14, 2014 at 19:45

      Marie – Really? Ataraxia likes me? She is an awesome lady with a great mind!

      I used to fast weekly, gave it up after a full year. Now I just do it maybe 3-4 times a year, usually just because I miss a meal and decide spur of the moment to go into full starvation mode.

      I only ever eat 2X day, noon and 6pm, so I’m basically only skipping three feedings. I eat a normal dinner, then a full day of nothing, skip lunch and eat dinner the third day.

      In doing so, I will usually lose 6-8 pounds despite drinking what seems like enough to stay hydrated. All of the weight always comes back within a day or two. Never any lasting weight loss.

      Nope, no PS, no supplements of any kind. Usually a cup of coffee in the morning and water all day.

      I was able to do these 48 hour fasts just jumping in, didn’t have to work up or anything. Usually by the time I eat, I’m frigging HONGRY though. I always try to have a really well-thought-out escape plan. Liver and onions, rare moose steaks and hash browns, well-populated omelet.

    • marie on April 14, 2014 at 20:24

      Ahaha! Don’t sound so surprised, you’re very likeable!! Why, I like you too….usually 😀
      Right now though, I may hate you, just a little bit? : “I was able to do these 48 hour fasts just jumping in, didn’t have to work up or anything.”
      So I have no one against which to compare any RS effect on fasting?
      I see Richard doesn’t use it during a fast either, not even a regular fast as opposed to a corrective one, though the bit about having some PS and then not eating for hours is interesting.
      O.k., but could you guys try it this way too, pretty please? And tell me if I’m the only one who finds the hunger much reduced?

      Ataraxia, where are you?
      Anyone else with experience in fasting to check whether potato starch blunts hunger under that condition?

      It would be direct evidence that the gut biome controls hunger, as opposed to the suspicion that it does so indirectly through effects on blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity.

      It would also open the door maybe to more people who would like to fast but have always had trouble with it.

    • John on April 14, 2014 at 20:26

      Yeah I typically go 16 hours a day with no food everyday. I’ll try 48 hours and post back. Thanks!

    • tatertot on April 14, 2014 at 20:30

      You will have no problem. People who eat 3-5 times a day have most trouble fasting I think.

      If you normally eat say from noon-6pm, you’ll find a 41 hour fast, basically skipping two meals, very, very easy.

      I find it’s 100% mental. If you cheat, just cave in and stop the fast. As long as I ‘forbid’ myself food, I’m fine. There is no half in fasting. All or nothing. Half-fast…I like that. Don’t do things half-fast!

    • tatertot on April 14, 2014 at 20:36

      I see what you are after now. This would be a good experiment, but probably for an experienced faster who knows what hunger feels like. Of course, it may backfire. The gut bugs in your second-brain could try to override your lame attempts at feigning starvation when it knows you have a half a chicken in the fridge.

    • marie on April 14, 2014 at 20:59

      Half-chicken, hmph! I always have Bean salad in the fridge 😉

    • Ann on April 15, 2014 at 07:30

      I take my RS (plantain flour) first thing in the morning with the greens and Prescript Assist, Primal Defense, and AOR P3 mixed in. I find that I’m hungry, like ravenously hungry, within an hour after drinking it, but my suspicion is that it lowers my BG so much that I get hungry really quickly. Some days it’s hard for me to wait the two hours I think I should wait to give the probiotics time to get where they are going before eating and revving up my stomach acids. I admittedly have blood glucose issues, and insulin issues, but if I were going to fast I’m pretty sure that I would not be able to use any RS while doing it.

    • John on April 15, 2014 at 09:54

      Yeah woke up today, heartburn still there, but very unusually I woke up dizzy. Like room spinning around dizzy. Thats never happened to me before. That has persisted all morning, but lessened to a degree where I can still function. I don’t feel nauseous.

      I kind of freaked out since this came out of nowhere and bought a blood glucose meter. 84 (fasted – haven’t eaten in 14 hours). At least there’s that… Maybe I should check blood pressure too.

      No clue what this could be or if it could be related to PS/RS/Probiotics.

      If I don’t start to feel better tomorrow I’m thinking its Dr. visit time.

    • John on April 17, 2014 at 10:56

      Well, update. Fasted for 44 hours. Couldn’t do full 48 due to plans (cooked dinner for gf).

      Yesterday the dizziness went away, but I still felt like crap. Probably had a little caffeine withdrawal, though. Heartburn had subsided by yesterday morning, but after 40 hours fasted, it started getting really bad and frequent. ate dinner, 24 ounce bone in ribeye with some buckwheat pancakes (Stephan’s revised recipe) and asparagus tossed in red palm oil and grilled. Heartburn went down. Had a little Taza chocolate before bed (stone ground, by far the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted (go for salt and pepper), worth the $5.99/small bar). Woke up feeling rested, better than I had in days. Heartburn seems gone today.

      Thanks for the 48 hour fast suggestion! Hopefully I’m good for the time being.

  31. Lori2 on April 14, 2014 at 16:09

    As I understand it, most commercial probiotics pass through without colonizing the gut. Is this also true of Prescript Assist, AOR Probiotic-3, Primal Defense and L. plantarum or will they set up residence?

    • Ellen Ussery on April 14, 2014 at 18:01

      Jarrow Ideal Bowel Support is what Heisenbug used in his experiments with L. Plantarum

    • Ellen Ussery on April 14, 2014 at 18:11

      It is in the Primal Defense Ultra too.

    • Ellen Ussery on April 14, 2014 at 18:51

      Haha, I know — those labels with the long list of ingredients are impossible. Gotta read em more than once.

    • tatertot on April 14, 2014 at 17:00

      Lori2 – From what I can tell, most of the species found in Prescript Assist and the other stuff you mentioned do not colonize like you might be thinking they would. Most of the bacteria in these probiotics are not major parts of a normal gut flora, but they all do have the capacity to stick and multiply to some extent.

      In some cases, the bacteria are seen as invaders and your immune system ramps up to prevent them from colonizing–this is also a desirable trait. In other cases, the bacteria may die in your stomach or small intestine and your immune system sees these dead soldiers and learns from them.

      Also, some of the bacteria may be doing things that science hasn’t figured out completely…the L. plantarum for instance seems to enjoy lurking deep in biofilms where it can crowd out (or eat) yeasts and fungi hiding there as well.

      I’m always amazed at the laundry list of microbes in Prescript Assist. I’ve looked them all up and even compared them with the AmGut taxa reports from several people, there are some taxa represented in PA that would appear to have no business in a human, but all of them seem to have been thoroughly vetted for inclusion in an effective probiotic. I think the big wash-out criteria for probiotic strains is that they are not known to cause harm.

      Personally, I think people need to get a lot pickier about probiotics, there are many man-made, genetically engineered varieties. Some have obvious fake names, like Bifidus Regularis, but others are harder to pick out. As people get smarter and the science becomes clearer, it will be easier to buy and use probiotics.

    • Ann on April 14, 2014 at 17:07

      Tim – has anyone yet come up with a good source for L. plantarum? None of the three I have – Prescript Assist, AOR P3, or Primal Defense Ultra have them – any known sources yet?


    • Ann on April 14, 2014 at 17:15

      Tim – Jarrow Formulas has L. Plantarum LP-01 in their Jarro-Dophilus AF formula.

      AF = allergen-free.

      I had it here all along. I’ll be taking that regularly now.

      Here’s the Wiki in case anyone is interested

      The only thing I don’t understand in this description of what L plantarum does is this

      “L. Plantarum has significant antioxidant activities and also helps to maintain the intestinal permeability.”

      Don’t we want intestinal IM-permeability??? Isn’t intestinal permeability “leaky gut”??? Wow- now I’m confused!


    • tatertot on April 14, 2014 at 17:16

      Just search for it on Amazon. I just bought some sold by Swanson’s but there were several others as well.

    • Ann on April 14, 2014 at 18:25

      Ellen – yes – in the Primal Defense Ultra. I overlooked it – need a magnifying glass anymore to read labels… Anyway, I guess I’ve been taking it!

    • tatertot on April 14, 2014 at 19:56

      Ann – I think they meant improves integrity of Tight Junctions.

      L. plantarum is a true SBO and is responsible for lots of fermented goodies (sauerkraut, pickles, brined olives, Korean kimchi, Nigerian Ogi, sourdough, cheeses, fermented sausages)

      Do you know what silage is? That’s what they feed cows. Silage is chock full of L. plantarum.

    • john z on April 15, 2014 at 06:48

      Tally interesting point taterot. After trying the PA again yesterday I came to realize my immune system just will not tolerate it. Ive had ibd that held for 24 hours, and a huge eczema flare up. There is something in the PA that my body recognizes as foreign, immediately expels, and something causes my immune system to attack my skin. I’d love to have access to each species individually to figure out which ones are doing this…

    • Ellen Ussery on April 16, 2014 at 06:03

      Hey John z: Chris Kresser said here

      that Prescript Assist is the best for constipation, so perhaps it follows that it would be the worst for Diarrhea……????

      Or that you just need to go VERY slow with whatever you take as Chris describes same interview. It took him months of slowly building up to resolve his own issues:

      So, switching to soil-based organisms and then taking a very, very small dose. For example, if you get Prescript-Assist and you get the capsules, you would actually open the capsule and just pour out, like, a quarter of a capsule on top of some food. It’s heat stable. Soil-based organisms don’t need to be refrigerated. You don’t have to worry about that as much, so you can just put it on a little bit of food and eat it that way. And then you just increase very, very gradually as your symptoms dictate. You might be on a quarter of a capsule for two weeks before you can go up to half a capsule, etc. For me, when I was doing it, I had to be extremely methodical, and it took months until I could tolerate a substantial amount of probiotics and fermented foods. I remember I started with kefir. I started with, like, a half a teaspoon a day, which is such a small amount it seems almost not worth doing, but if I did any more than that, I would have a reaction. And then after about 9 or 10 months of doing that, I could tolerate a full glass of kefir without any problems when my gut was a lot better. That’s one answer.

    • Ellen Ussery on April 16, 2014 at 07:55

      More from the same interview with Chris K. Note that somewhere else he points put that histamine intolerance also causes bad reactions to probiotics, so you need to rule that out

      —–>There are a couple ways to answer this. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but back when I was still really sick and starting my recovery process, I could not tolerate probiotics either, but that’s not necessarily a reason not to take them. And what I mean by that is that you may just need to start with extremely low doses and build up very slowly over time, because if your gut microbiota is really screwed up, then you take a full dose of a probiotic – I mean, one of the things that probiotics do, one of the ways that they work is they upregulate the immune system, they compete for adhesion sites in the gut with less beneficial forms of bacteria. Some probiotics are actually antimicrobial themselves, so they can potentially cause a lot of different, for lack of a better term, detox reactions, things that could make you uncomfortable. A lot of folks buy a probiotic, they take a capsule or the dose that’s recommended on the bottle, and they have a terrible reaction, and they just figure, oh, I can’t take probiotics. But that kind of reaction is often a sign that you really need them more than anybody else, and the solution is not necessarily to stop, it’s to either reduce the dose dramatically or to switch to different types of probiotics. If you’re taking, like, lactic acid forms of probiotics, like acidophilus, bifidobacteria, etc., then you might want to switch to a soil-based type of probiotic because they tend to be a lot better tolerated with people with SIBO.

    • Gemma on April 16, 2014 at 04:16

      @john z

      Some bad bugs are dying-off? I Remember Natasha Campbell-Mc Bride says to go very very very slowly (= introduce in tiny amounts) with probiotics for people healing their guts (the GAPS diet).

    • Adrienne on April 16, 2014 at 09:44

      Many brands contain L.Plantarum so it should be easy to source. The Jarrow Ideal Bowel Support does not contain SBOs — none of Jarrow’s formulas do.

    • Duck Dodgers on April 16, 2014 at 09:57


      L. Plantarum is considered to be an SBO.

    • Adrienne on April 17, 2014 at 09:45

      @ Duck Dogers
      I called Jarrow and specifically asked about the product mentioned. The product specialist stated that the mentioned product does not contain any SBOs and that in fact none of Jarrow’s formulas contain SBOs. I couldn’t care less what people want to try but just posted so that those who may be uncomfortable trying an SBO product would understand that Mr. Heisenbug had good results re his eczema with a non-SBO product. Maybe an SBO product or even combining an SBO product with Non-SBO would have worked even better.

    • Ann on April 17, 2014 at 10:59

      That’s weird because Tim says L. Plantarum is an SBO, and it’s in the Jarro Dophilous AF. I have it here, and it lists it right on the label.

    • Duck Dodgers on April 17, 2014 at 11:21


      Jarrow is simply trying to calm the unwarranted fears of those who have been suckered by the fear-mongering about SBOs.

      An “SBO (Soil-Based Organism)” is often defined as any organism inhabiting the soil during part or all of its life. And that includes anything from microscopic cells to small mammals. L. Plantarum can be found in plants, animals and soil.

      Perhaps Jarrow is equating “spore formers” with “SBOs” but they are actually two different things. A lot of organisms are found in the soil, and I seriously doubt Jarrow has really done an intensive survey to eliminate any bacteria that can live in soil. Eliminating “spore formers” is a little easier to accomplish, since it’s part of the manufacturing process. My guess is they are just confusing the terms.

    • tatertot on April 17, 2014 at 11:28

      “SBO” is a marketing term. What needs to be differentiated is microbes that live predominately in the human body and those that live in soil. L. plantarum is most definitely a soil-based microbe, but it can inhabit the human gastroinstestinal tract. Grace had some papers recently showing that is some people L. plantarum was found along the entire length of the GIT from stem to stern, and in others, there was none.

      Don’t get too wrapped around what is an SBO and what isn’t. Many of the bifido and almost all of the lacto strains could be called SBO’s. I’m not sure where the term SBO originated, probably from one of the probiotic makers. I’m typing this from memory, but I believe the 4 most important strains to look for that could be classified SBO are L. plantarum, B. coagulens, C. butyricum, and B. subtilis. The yeast, Saccharomyces boulardii, might also qualify as an SBO.

      Hope that helps.

  32. Lori2 on April 15, 2014 at 18:05

    What is the best time to take RS/PS? I was talking to someone who was taking it at 4pm in order to take it on an empty stomach. Because so many get their RS in food form, I felt that showed that it should be taken with meals.

    Also, should the probiotic be taken at the same time as the RS?

    • tatertot on April 15, 2014 at 18:47

      There’s nothing set in stone. I’d think you’d want to take any supplemental RS, like potato starch alongside a meal. I personally like to mix it in yogurt or a smashed up banana and have as dessert. It just seems to feel like you are making the meal a bit more natural that way, like the way our ancestors ate for millions of years.

      Same with probiotics. I’d think that taking them right at start of meal would be perfect. It’s the way you’d ingest them in the wild.

    • Ann on April 15, 2014 at 21:30

      Lori2 and Tim – On the other hand, though, a lot of people take the probiotics on an empty stomach to avoid the increase in acids that food digestion causes. Some think, and some of the probiotic manufacturers suggest, that they be taken on an empty stomach to get the max benefits.

      Richard mixes his probiotics in with his RS with the idea that the probiotics “hitch a ride” to the colon on the RS particles, as bacteria has been shown to attach to the RS. I’ve started doing this as well.

      A lot of us take the RS last thing at night before bed to help with sleep. I know it works for me. I also take mine first thing in the morning.

      When I was doing dairy, I also mixed mine in with yogurt or kefir – yum!


    • quattromomma on April 16, 2014 at 04:49

      This says 30 minutes before eating is best for survivability of the bacteria. The study was done with capsules, so he is speculating that it takes that long for the capsule to dissolve. Food temporarily lowers the acidity of the stomach, thus allowing survival of the bacteria.

      Good instincts Tatertot.

    • Richard Nikoley on April 16, 2014 at 08:22


      And the other part of the deal is to sometimes take a bolus dose of RS, maybe with psylium too, with water on a totally empty stomach, perhaps after a good long fast, then wait a few more hours.

      Idea being is cleaning out the small intestine.

  33. Ann on April 15, 2014 at 21:47

    Tim – tonight the hubs and I harvested dandelion greens for the first time. I loved them, but my husband thought they were too bitter for him. I parboiled them for ten minutes, and then sauteed them in ghee and minced garlic, and served them with white balsamic vinegar. Scrumptious!

  34. tatertot on April 15, 2014 at 21:58

    Ann – that made me smile. My dandelions are still under 2 feet of snow. I used to declare war on the smiling yellow little flowers every summer, maybe they were trying to tell me something with their stubbornness to live.

    • Ann on April 15, 2014 at 22:25

      We did too, but stopped using all chemicals about five years ago when we started gardening in earnest. Now I think they’re kind of pretty…

    • Richard Nikoley on April 16, 2014 at 08:23

      When I lived in France, people would regularly go out and pick wild dandelion green to add to salads in the summer.

  35. MsMcGillicuddy on April 17, 2014 at 18:38

    A super easy way to prepare hard cooked eggs: place in the pan of water, bring to a boil, then just shut off the heat source and let the eggs sit – I think the stated time is like 8 minutes (you can also buy one of those cheap egg timers that go in the water). then shock them quickly in cold water so the shells slip off

    • Ellen Ussery on April 17, 2014 at 19:02

      I have done that and about twenty other so called sure fire methods for making easy to peel hard boiled eggs. None of them are as reliable as steaming, which can be done by simply sitting the eggs in only a half inch of already boiling water in a covered pot, or using a steamer basket, or the Cuisinart steamer. I do still chill them down right away and that helps. But the steaming does something that boiling does not .

    • Richard Nikoley on April 18, 2014 at 11:27

      Yes, even though I have the Cuisinart steamer, I usually do it the old fashioned way—bring to a boil, turn off and let sit for 6-8, depending on what I want, then drain, run cold water continuously, and dump in handfulls of ice cubes.

  36. Ginger on May 2, 2014 at 10:59

    I love all the articles and comments on resistant starch! What an amazing wealth of information from so many minds. It’s overwhelming but I’m trying to sift through these to learn as much as I can.

    My question is fairly quick, and I was hoping for some opinions. I know my gut is pretty hosed, but I live in Latvia and will be moving back to the states in a couple months, so I’ll need to wait till then to get a metametrix gut panel done. When I’ve tried supplementing with RS (a couple TSP a day), I have some itching, occasionally a tender gland, but most concerning to me is a slightly “drunk” and giddy/happy feeling. I don’t doubt that I have some yeast issues, but has anyone else experienced this before? Would you guess that it might be die-off/immune system related, or more likely feeding the bad buggies? I follow a pretty clean PHD-diet (with some weekend wine :), though it’s worth saying I’ve noticed this same brief drunk-ish feeling a couple times when I’ve just had a good pat of butter on some veg (sans carbs or protein). Butyrate realted? I dunno, I’m a newbie. Please chime in! I’m curious to hear some thoughts.


    • tatertot on May 2, 2014 at 11:32

      Hey, Ginger! I love Latvia, spent considerable time in Riga in the mid 90’s…beautiful place.

      It’s possible that you picked up an “Ogre” living there. Yeast overgrowths are known to cause a condition known as “auto-brewery syndrome” and can indeed make you feel drunk. The RS may be feeding this yeast and causing the symptoms you describe. Visit a local druggist and see if there are any botanicals for killing yeasts, I’ll bet the Baltic States are full of interesting, ancient herbs. Look for something called “Chaga” (Inonotis Obliquus), it’s a birch tree mushroom known in that area and has many anti-fungal properties. Otherwise, I’d say hold off on the potato starch until you get tested. Shame, too, Latvia is home to a huge organic potato starch industry. Maybe also look into other yeast killing protocols like charcoal and clay, but I’m no expert in those. Grace wrote about auto-brewery syndrome here:


      You’ll have top search through the comments, it’s not in the main blog, look for comments by Keith Bell and Dr. BG

    • Ginger on May 3, 2014 at 11:19

      Wow, tater, thanks so much for the fast reply! And I’m almost in shock that you’ve been here enough to know the area. Most people’s response when I tell them I live in Latvia is either, “huh?” or “Oh, in North Carolina!” Nope, not quite. 🙂 You’d be shocked how much it’s changed and grown here since the mid-90’s! We love Riga!

      I’ll definitely look into the herbs. I’ve decided in the past few days that’s it’s really likely that my good gut flora numbers are very low, and that I’m going to drastically add in a lot more ferments to get those numbers up. I have Prescript Assist and have been taking it for awhile, but it hasn’t made enough of a difference on it’s own so I’m going for some kraut and kraut juice (practically its own food group over here, lol).

      I did some reading over at Dr. Grace’s blog…GREAT stuff! Auto-brewery could definitely be a part of it, though I have to say once I noticed that issue, I decided to experiment and occasionally go “off the rails” (for me) and have a lot more sugar in the form of sweet fruit or very sugary gluten free goodies. Neither of those ever sparked the drunk-ish feeling like I got with the RS or butter, so that’s why I’m confused. Die off or feeding the bad buggies with RS? Hmm. Hoping that focusing on the ferments helps tip the scales a bit and I can try again sometime soon! I also got ahold of some undecyn (extract from castor oil) that is supposed to be very antifungal. I’ll be giving that a whirl too.

    • Saraswati on May 3, 2014 at 20:34

      Hi Ginger,
      I have had a similar experience. Taking a variety of RS in the form of Potato Starch, dried plantains, parboiled rice, I had all kinds of lymphatic symptoms, some quite painful, and decreasing as time passed by. After about 6 weeks I introduced arabinogalactan. Only half a teaspoon. And WAOH. This gave me a very big high, different from an alcohol high and I think it is most probably not due to something feeding off alcohol or sugar. It was vastly superior should I say, more related to an opium high. I was given opium years ago when I had accidents with broken bones in out of reach places and the feeling is very different form what I get from alcohol.
      So this is just like taking opium but there is not the clarity of mind and acute vision associated with it.
      It could well be that you fed with PS something similar to what I fed with arabinogalactan (and could not personally feed with PS). They were grateful and gave me this pleasure!
      There was a downfall to this though, lymphatic problem in the left eye the next day, which resolved after two days but was quite scary at the time.
      I never cease to be amazedat the importance of the biome on our mental state.

    • Saraswati on May 5, 2014 at 21:53

      I am wondering if that nice spacey feeling Ginger had and I had too, is not related to a production of valerate in the gut.

  37. dhawktx on April 28, 2015 at 13:32

    I’ve just ‘found’ you this week and have been avidly reading up on prior posts. I’ve been looking for more info on gut bugs other than ‘It’ll be a while before poo transplants are available’. Taking everyone’s combined advice I’m starting with RS, which has been favorably received by my gut and will begin regimens of the various recommended probiotics as soon as they are delivered.

    I’ve already ‘fixed’ my Fibro from the 90’s with proper Magnesium supplementation, fixed kidney stones/hyperparathyroid with therapeutic doses of Vitamin D3, and am currently addressing heart/circulatory issues with Methylfolate and other methylated B vitamins after 23andMe testing verified a single issue of the Methylation mutation. It also verified that I have a marker for reduced ability to produce my own vit D, as well as issues with excess ammonia when on a high protein diet and overproduction of Taurine due to another marker. Switched to a job in retail where I’m on my feet all day instead of a cubicle and walking three to five miles each day I work. Have dropped 40 pounds in the last three years just eating healthier whole foods and getting off my butt. My health at 59 is already better than it was in my forties and I’m well on my way to getting out of my Syndrome X foxhole.

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